James Hay Partnership has confirmed it is making a concerted push into the small self-administered scheme market with the appointment of Holly Watts as head of SSAS new business development.
Managing director Tim Sargisson confirmed the new role was part of the firm's drive to build on SSAS clients alongside its traditional SIPP portfolio.
He said: "The new role is largely in response to the increase in interest and levels in activity in this area.
"It is all about increasing the prominence of SSAS within the company and with potential clients. We are very focussed on acquiring new business in this area, not just managing our back book."
The development follows the departure of the company's director Richard Mattison, who left the firm in September 2011. In January 2012, he announced a partnership takeover of SSAS firm Whitehall Group with former James Hay business director Jane Davies.
Last month, James Hay instigated legal proceedings against Mattison, claiming his new venture had poached clients from James Hay. Sargisson said there were no updates on the action.
He also confirmed the SIPP division of the business does not currently have a senior business development director.
Watts joined James Hay in 2007 as an SSAS account manager, moving on to the northern regional SSAS manager role. Prior to this, Watts worked with a Manchester-based actuarial firm on SIPP provision.
In her new role, Watts will head up the Manchester SSAS office for James Hay, as well as providing sales support to financial advisors and James Hay Partnership sales teams.
Sargisson added: "This appointment reflects our confidence that Holly will not only continue to build on the success of the business, but also in her ability to develop and strengthen relationships with clients."
More than half of people over the age of 55 see financial security as a top priority in retirement, yet a third allocate more time to buying a new car, research from Legal & General (L&G) has found.
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