Financial planning solutions provider Benchmark has named Gillian Hepburn as commercial director.
In the newly-created role, Hepburn will lead Benchmark’s partnerships across its over 180 financial planning firms, overseeing the business development, partnership management, marketing and proposition functions.
Hepburn joined Benchmark parent company Schroders in 2019 from The Embark Group and is currently head of UK intermediary solutions.
She will report into Ed Dymott, who Benchmark last month confirmed would formally succeed David White as chief executive on 1 January 2024. Hepburn’s role also follows Benchmark’s appointment of Tim Sargisson, who runs its 75 adviser-strong financial planning team.
Dymott said: “Gillian’s extensive expertise and deep understanding of the financial planning market will be key in driving the next phase of growth for our business. Gillian already sits on Benchmark’s board and is therefore very familiar with our key business objectives. This appointment will further support our ability to deliver against our key priorities and ambitious growth plans.”
By the end of this year, Benchmark is forecast to be supporting over 200 financial planning firms, up from 175 at the beginning of 2023. There are over “200 advisers in the pipeline to join Benchmark”, the firm said.
Hepburn’s current responsibilities across solutions and the adviser market will be assumed by Doug Abbott, who has been appointed Schroders head of UK wealth, client group.
According to his Linkedin profile, he began the new role this month. He has been at Schroders for 15 years since joining as a graduate.
Abbott’s most recent role was head of UK intermediary, after serving as country head for South Africa between 2015 and 2020.
The firm recently named Julien Houdain as head of its rebranded global fixed income and currency desk.
Back in May, Schroders named Cazenove Capital chief executive Mary-Anne Daly the group’s global head of wealth management.