Meet The Investment Committee Members

Investment Committee Chairman

Jim Roberts

Jim Roberts

Ex-Investment Director of Skandia

Jim Roberts worked for Old Mutual (formerly Skandia) for 26 years, and spent 14 of those years acting as Group Investment Director, where he was praised for his intellect and commercial insight in to the financial industry. Jim is currently Director of the wealth manager Ashcourt Rowan, an adviser of Brooklands International Pensions, a member of the Financial Committee of the University of Warwick and a judge in the IFA Online International Product Awards. Jim is considered to be a 'seasoned professional' in his field, has an unrivalled track record in the industry, and his financial experience, knowledge, personal business sense and entrepreneurial stance will aid Verbatim in its success.

Deputy Chairman

Peter Hugh Smith

Peter Hugh Smith

Chief Executive, CCLA Investment Management

Peter is Chief Executive of CCLA Investment Management a responsible investment manager who invest £10bn for Charities, the Church of England and Local Authorities. CCLA, based in the City of London is the second largest manager of Charity Investments in the UK. Peter has more than 25 years’ experience in the investment management industry having started his career as a Fund Manager at Capel-Cure Myers in 1991. During his career Peter has held roles at Seapower Asset Management in Hong Kong, 13 years at global multi-manager Russell Investments and more recently at fund services business Link Fund Solutions. Peter has a wide range of industry experience and knowledge including portfolio management, distribution and fund operations.  Peter, through his role as Vice Chair of the Verbatim Investment Committee provides insight and guidance on the continued evolution of the Verbatim suite of funds to ensure they meet the needs of advisers and their clients.

Fund Structure and Governance

Ronan Kearney

Ronan Kearney

Director, Osprey Capital Limited

Prior to joining Osprey Capital Limited, Ronan was MD of Allium Capital Ltd and Indexx Markets Ltd and Chairman of Osprey Capital Ltd. He has wide experience in fund and product design and a strong track record in structuring innovative solutions. Ronan has worked in Financial Services for 20 years, and graduated with an MBA from London Business School in 2002.

Investment Research & Monitoring

Ken Rayner

Ken Rayner

Founding Director, RSMR

Ken has been involved with researching investment funds for over twenty years, working on behalf of IFAs throughout that period. After graduating from Leeds University with a Degree in Economics and Economic History, Ken joined Sun Life, which provided an excellent grounding in the life, pension and investment industry. He joined Bradford & Bingley in 1990, where he held a number of product and marketing roles and latterly had responsibility for all financial services product development and pricing. In addition he was Investment Fund Manager for Bradford & Bingley’s PEP and ISA Discretionary Management business where he controlled in excess of £700m of clients’ funds.

Investment Oversight

Neil Stevens

Neil Stevens

Joint CEO, SimplyBiz Group/Executive Chairman, Verbatim Asset Management

Neil Stevens is Joint Managing Director of SimplyBiz PLC and Executive Chairman of Verbatim Asset Management PLC. He has responsibility for the operations & governance of the overall business with a strong background in business delivery and managing propositions that bring together the talents of multiple organisations.

Neil works closely with the UK Life, Pensions & Investment industry to deliver solutions for advisers and has been active in many industry forums, currently sitting on the TISA distribution council, to actively promote adviser business models and advance the use of technology for adviser businesses.

Neil joined SimplyBiz as a consultant in 2003, joining the board early 2004, and is also Managing Director of subsidiary IFA servicing company, Compliance First Limited. He has worked as a management consultant in the UK and Europe and has an engineering degree from UCE and an MBA from Manchester Metropolitan University which focussed on finance theory.

Investment Oversight

Dan Russell

Dan Russell

Managing Director, SimplyBiz Investment Services

Dan began his career with IBM before holding senior sales and distribution roles within The Hartford in UK and Germany. He ran a successful consulting business working with leading asset management firms, life companies and advisory practices before joining Verbatim as Sales and Marketing Director in 2012, having worked with the business since launch.

In 2015 Dan took over from Neil Stevens as Managing Director of Verbatim when Neil took up his new role as Executive Chairman of Verbatim. Aside from financial service qualifications, he is a graduate of Durham University and holds a MBA from Warwick Business School. He is still daft enough to be playing rugby, enjoys many an outdoor pursuit and plays the guitar badly. He lives in York where his wife, daughters, son and livestock keep him out of trouble.