Seccl hires ex-Nucleus boss David Ferguson as CEO

David Ferguson

Asset custody and investment tech firm Seccl has announced that former Nucleus Financial Group chief executive David Ferguson will join Seccl as its new CEO, subject to FCA approval, on April 4, 2022.

Seccl is owned by Octopus Investments.

Ferguson was the founder of Nucleus, the financial adviser platform that he built up to £20 billion in assets under administration (AUA) before stepping down last September after the £145 million acquisition of Nucleus by James Hay.

Current Seccl co-CEOs Sam Handfield-Jones and Dave Harvey will continue in their roles until April 4, at which point Seccl founder Harvey will focus on steering Seccl’s future technology and product direction, while Handfield-Jones, who led the company’s acquisition by Octopus in 2019, will transition to an advisory role.

Seccl chair Ruth Handcock said: “I’m really pleased and excited to welcome David, whose deep sector expertise, proven track record and clear commitment to putting customers first will be of enormous value as we look to further accelerate our growth.

“Seccl is on a mission to rebuild the infrastructure of investments and advice, and our innovative, API-first technology is already being used by some of the most exciting firms across the entire retail wealth landscape.

“It’s testament to the fantastic contribution of both Dave and Sam, who have grown Seccl to half a billion in AUA and built an 80-strong team of talented individuals on the back of an award-winning culture.

“Thanks to their efforts, Seccl is fast becoming the de facto choice for advisers and fintechs alike – a trend that we are confident David will strengthen.”

Ferguson said: “I’m both grateful and motivated to join such a respected, disruptive and progressive company, and to build on the strong foundations that the team has already laid.

“I was determined that my next role should involve working with the best and most transformational technology in our industry, with the backing of an investment partner who shares my ambition and values.

“Seccl has already marked itself out as having the outstanding technology in our field and, after meeting Simon [Rogerson, Octopus Group founder and CEO] and Ruth, I became convinced that this was the perfect home for me in the next stage of my career.

“Investment platforms have made decent use of technology and automation over the last 15-20 years. But that’s now history.

“The new opportunity is to redefine the way technology is used to radically improve customer outcomes and reach even more people.

“Everyone who has worked with me knows of my conviction that the interests of a company’s customers, shareholders and people should be fully aligned.

“I am committed to cultivating Seccl’s already distinctive culture, and ensuring we’re the very best place to work for anyone who cares about doing the right thing in financial services.”

Handfield-Jones said: “The opportunity to acquire and build Seccl over the last two and a half years has been one of the biggest privileges of my career.

“From the outset, we have sought to revolutionise the technology that sits behind investments and advice.

“We have built an amazing team to deliver on that mission, who work hard for our fantastic clients at the forefront of change in our market.

“In David, we have found the perfect person to lead Seccl in the next chapter of its growth and I have every faith in his and the team’s continued success.

“I’m excited to watch this success first-hand as I carry on supporting Octopus in its mission of supporting advisers and fintechs.”

Harvey said: “Founding and leading Seccl has been a wonderful experience, and I’m really proud that we power a growing number of investment and advice platforms.

“The time is right for David to lead and accelerate Seccl’s growth, and I look forward to helping the company in an exciting new stage of its journey.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.