Seccl Reading time: 2 mins

Seccl grows senior team with experienced industry hires

27 Oct 2020

Chris Smeaton, Thomasina McGuigan and Ty Conybear join the team – which has grown by 200% since its acquisition by Octopus last year

Seccl, the Octopus-owned custodian and platform technology provider, has made a raft of senior hires into its management team – with three new joiners bringing a combined 70+ years of financial services experience, from Quilter plc, Ascentric and Embark Group.

Chris Smeaton, formerly Head of Commercial Marketing at Embark Group, joins as Head of Propositions – where he will support the product and engineering teams in designing and developing new solutions, and take charge of ongoing product governance. Prior to Embark, Chris spent nearly seven years at James Hay, most recently as Director of Commercial & Strategy.

Thomasina McGuigan joins as Head of Compliance from Quilter plc, where she spent four years as Group Head of Regulatory Advice. Prior to Quilter, she served as Chief Compliance Officer EMEA and MLRO at Morningstar Investment Management Ltd. Thomasina will oversee Seccl’s regulatory duties and build out its risk and compliance function.

Ty Conybear joins as Head of Operations, bringing with him nearly 35 years of financial services experience – most recently as Head of Business Readiness at Ascentric. As well as leading the day-to-day output of the company’s growing operations team, Ty will be responsible for refining Seccl’s internal processes – with the aim of creating an efficient, scalable and highly automated operational engine.

They mark the latest in a string of hires that Seccl has made since it was acquired by Octopus Group in September 2019 – a period that has seen its headcount grow by 200%, from 13 to 40. Over the same period, its assets under administration (AUA) have increased by 1100%, from £10m to £120m.

Sam Handfield-Jones, Co-head of Seccl, said:

“Over the last year, we have been working hard to build the foundations that will allow Seccl to scale. This has involved expanding our product, engineering, operations and customer functions, and putting in place a management team with the experience to match our vision. Today’s hires mark another important milestone in that journey.

“What set them apart was their shared desire to do things differently, to avoid bureaucracy and to move quickly – not traits you see often in financial services. We’re convinced that Chris, Thom and Ty will add enormous value as we enter our next chapter of growth.”

Chris Smeaton, Head of Propositions at Seccl, said:

“As a young business that’s free of legacy tech, Seccl is uniquely placed to innovate. We have big ambitions to build cutting-edge functionality and exciting new product lines – and I’m thrilled to have a hand in their development.”

Thomasina McGuigan, Head of Compliance at Seccl, said:

“Our industry is crying out for a shake-up – thinking is siloed, decision-making is slow and creating change can often feel like wading through treacle. The opportunity to forge a best-in-class compliance function within an organisation that acts with agility and pace was incredibly attractive.”

Ty Conybear, Head of Operations at Seccl, said:

“Seccl’s mission of rebuilding the infrastructure of investments and advice is incredibly compelling. Retail wealth management seems to have operational inefficiency stamped in its DNA – and I’m excited by the work that we can do to streamline the outdated, clunky processes that still define our industry.”

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For journalists in their professional capacity only. Issued by Seccl Technology Limited. Registered in England and Wales at 20 Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JW (Number: 10237930). Issued: October 2020.