The billionaire co-founder of British investment group Hargreaves Lansdowne has called on its board to cut costs and focus on its core business after its share price plunged.
The company’s largest shareholder, Peter Hargreaves, said it was “one of the worst-performing stocks in the FTSE 100” over the past few years, slamming the board and outgoing chief executive Chris Hargreaves. He condemned the strategy pursued by Hill.
Hargreaves Lansdowne shares have fallen from a high of £24 in May 2019 to £8-9 today.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Hargreaves said: It’s no surprise that the stock market crashed. ”
Hargreaves cited the company’s rising costs and plans to offer “hybrid” advice that combines automated financial guidance with the assistance of advisors.
Its purpose is to provide customers with a wider range of assistance in making financial decisions. Hargreaves Lansdown, for example, plans to encourage customers to seek advice to prevent panic selling when the stock market falls.
The Bristol-based company has 1.7 million customers and offers investment, pension and savings products to individual investors. The plan to offer hybrid advice will be an additional service that sits between the current option of “do it yourself” investing and the more expensive option of consulting with a financial advisor.
strategy Released last year by Hill He will be succeeded by Dan Ory, who has been on the Board since 2019, following his resignation in November.
Hargreaves said automated advice doesn’t adequately consider how much risk customers want to take and can lead to the wrong investments. should focus on its strategy, he said.
He also added that the company is in need of “massive cost cutting” and employs “at least 1,000 unnecessary personnel.”
Hargreaves Lansdown costs have increased by 7% to £285m in 2022.
Peter Hargreaves founded the business in 1981 with Stephen Lansdown. He remains his largest shareholder with a nearly 20% stake, but resigned from the board in 2015.
Hargreaves and other blue-chip boards are paid high fees, which also add to costs, he said. Hargreaves Lansdowne chairman Diana Oppenheimer said in 2021 she was paid £334,500, according to an annual report.
Hargreaves said, “There are too many boards that are paid ridiculously high salaries and aren’t worth it.” “It’s common in big British companies. Few boards are considered worth it…a lot of money was paid to them.”
Hargreaves Lansdowne declined to comment.
https://www.ft.com/content/79d9be35-a52e-4dda-be53-be12ae9490fd Billionaire Founder of Hargreaves Lansdown Calls for ‘Major’ Cost Cuts