New Financial Planner at ambitious Johnston Financial

From left - Steve Rowntree and John McArdle
From left - Steve Rowntree and John McArdle

An Edinburgh firm of Chartered Financial Planners has made its first major appointment as it kickstarts a period of ambitious growth following a management buyout.

Johnston Financial, based in Edinburgh’s New Town, has appointed Steve Rowntree as a Financial Planner.

Rowntree’s move to Johnston Financial comes as the firm completes a two-year MBO, which will see founder and Chairman Adrian Johnston relinquish his remaining 27% in the company as he winds down to retirement.

Meanwhile, the management team say the timing is crucial, with father-of-two Rowntree, 36, joining the firm which recently added 1,000 sq. ft of floorspace to accommodate their expansion plans.

Managing director John McArdle said: “This is a stellar appointment for us and the timing couldn’t be better. We’d be delighted to welcome Steve to the firm at any time, but his arrival at such a crucial point is absolutely ideal.

“We’re already seeing a considerable upswing in growth and with me becoming MD and taking on a more strategic role, having someone of Steve’s calibre to work with our clients is extremely pleasing. I’m sure our clients will be every bit as delighted with this appointment as we are.”

The Northumberland Street-based firm, which was founded in 1987, currently has a 2000-strong client base and more than £420 million of assets under management.

A highly-respected name in Edinburgh’s financial sector, it recently announced its successful MBO would be completed in October. The new management team also unveiled plans to double in size within five years, with a target of reaching £1 billion of assets under management.

Mr McArdle, who joined the firm in 1997 as a Financial Planner and rose to become 50-50 partner with founder Mr Johnston, will own 90% of the company after the MBO. Co-director Suzanne Gay will own 10%.

He added: “The decision to add an extra 1,000 sq. ft of floor space to our Northumberland Street offices, ensures that we will have the right environment, the right offering and the best possible team to help us realise our growth ambitions.

“We had our eye on Steve for a while as the perfect fit for Johnston Financial and he couldn’t be joining us at a better or more exciting time. We want to be known as a place where talent can thrive.”

Mr Rowntree, who lives with his young family in Linlithgow, West Lothian, says the move is an important advance in his career, after spending 12 years as a Financial Planner with Edinburgh-based Carbon Financial.

He added: “Opportunities like this come along infrequently, so I’m delighted to be grabbing it with both hands. The changes happening at Johnston Financial are very exciting.

“This is a highly-respected, well-established company with a talented and ambitious team and I am looking forward to being part of the expansion plans and the next chapter.”

Earlier this year Johnston Financial also appointed another talented young Financial Planner, Will Bleasdale, who also made the move from Carbon. Johnston Financial now has an 18-strong team.

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