Paul Geddes has been named as the next CEO of Evelyn Partners, an integrated wealth management and professional services firm, pending regulatory approval.

Chris Woodhouse, who has served in the position for more than five and a half years, is stepping down from full-time executive management.

During that time, the company completed the merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson to create Evelyn Partners, one of the largest wealth managers in the UK.

Assets under management increased during Woodhouse’s leadership from £23.5bn at the end of 2017 to £54.4bn (as of 31 March 2023).

Under Woodhouse’s guidance, Evelyn Partners, which is led by a management team of the highest calibre, has made significant investments in its workforce, its technological infrastructure, and the expansion of its portfolio of services.

The firm, which now comprises the online marketplace Bestinvest, has produced steady, strong organic growth that has been supplemented by an ambitious M&A programme.

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On July 3 2023, Geddes will join the company and, pending regulatory approval, take over as CEO.

He will receive assistance from Woodhouse throughout the summer to ensure a smooth transfer.

Geddes’ history

Geddes is an accomplished senior executive with a stellar track record spanning a 33-year career, 15 of which have been spent in CEO positions.

From QA Group, where he has served as CEO since 2019, he joins Evelyn Partners.

Prior to taking over QA, Geddes served as CEO of Direct Line, a FTSE 250 insurance company, for ten years, until 2019.

During his time as CEO, Direct Line had considerable growth as a result of client-focused innovation.

When he served as CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s insurance division, which includes the Direct Line, Churchill, Privilege, Green Flag, and NIG brands, he was in charge of separating the division from the bank and directing the company’s successful IPO of Direct Line group in 2012.

Starting his career in the financial sector in 2004 with RBS, he then rose through the ranks to become CEO of the Retail Bank in the UK Mainland, including NatWest, and a member of the RBS group executive committee.

After that, he became CEO of the insurance division.

He has also worked as the deputy chair of the association of British Insurers and a member of the FCA Practitioner Panel while employed by Direct Line.

Reaction to new Evelyn Partners CEO

Chris Grigg, chair of Evelyn Partners, said: “We are delighted that Paul is joining Evelyn Partners as our new Chief Executive Officer. He is a highly accomplished business leader who brings a wealth of experience in financial services, a record of embracing technological innovation, a depth of experience in marketing and developing talent. He joins the business at a very exciting time with great opportunities ahead. Paul joins a great team, and I would like to pay tribute to Chris for the huge contribution he has made to the success of the business over the last five and half years.”

Geddes, next chief executive officer, added: “I am extremely excited to be joining Evelyn Partners to lead the next stage of its journey, building on the terrific work that everyone in the business has achieved under Chris’s leadership since 2017. It’s already clear to me that Evelyn Partners is a group with a proud past, but focused on the future, made up of outstanding professionals who deliver excellent outcomes in multiple disciplines to a diverse range of clients. I am relishing the opportunity to meet as many colleagues as possible across the group in my first few months as we work together on the next stage of our growth strategy.”

Woodhouse, current chief executive officer of Evelyn Partners, commented: “It has been a real privilege to have worked with such a talented team of people over these last five and a half years. Together we have achieved a huge amount in terms of the strategic transformation and growth of the business. This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our exceptional people and our culture of putting clients at the centre of everything we do. I am confident that Evelyn Partners will continue to go from strength to strength in the years ahead. I leave Evelyn Partners in good hands and wish Paul and everyone at the group every success as they take the business on to the next stage of its development.”