Directorate Change

RNS Number : 2784Y
W.H. Ireland Group PLC
13 January 2022



WH Ireland Group Plc


(“WH Ireland” or the “Company”)


Directorate Change

Appointment of new Head of Wealth Management

Michael Bishop to lead the next phase of development

WH Ireland (AIM: WHI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Bishop, as Head of Wealth Management. Michael will lead the next phase of the division’s development with the stated ambition to manage at least £3bn of discretionary funds under management at a 20% margin. This and other recent senior leadership appointments demonstrate WH Ireland’s commitment to the continuing transformation of the Company and its ambitious growth plans.

Michael Bishop, who joins with immediate effect, brings significant experience of building and running substantial wealth management businesses, having previously been a senior member of UBS’s wealth management business for over 20 years. He started his wealth management career as a founding employee of UBS’s UK domestic wealth management business in 2000; having grown UBS’s business in the UK, he spent two years in Switzerland integrating the teams covering origination, investment and client relationships across the UK business.  He then developed an Institutional Family Office business whilst being responsible for UBS’s Ultra High Net Worth teams across Northern Europe.  

This combination of business building, both organically and through acquisition, coupled with his strong and varied experience in creating attractive client propositions, means Michael is a strong fit for WH Ireland as it builds on the progress it has made over the last few years. 

Michael spent the early part of his career in Arthur Andersen’s and PwC’s tax divisions having graduated from the University of Southampton.

Furthermore, the Company confirms that Stephen Ford is to step down as Head of Wealth Management, and an Executive Director of the WH Ireland board, to pursue other opportunities. Stephen will remain a director with WH Ireland until 31 January 2022 to ensure a smooth transition of the Wealth Management business to Michael Bishop.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Phillip Wale, CEO of WH Ireland, said:

“I am very pleased to welcome Michael to the team. Michael brings with him great experience and expertise that matches our requirements as we build on Stephen’s work. We have grown discretionary assets under management significantly, successfully completed our first acquisition and are strengthening our customer proposition to create real differentiation.

“His time at UBS across a number of different disciplines has given Michael a strong understanding of client needs, and we look forward to leveraging that expertise as we further enhance and differentiate our proposition of high quality capabilities, product and service based around best in class wealth planning.

“We expect Michael’s appointment to enable us to make further progress towards delivering our ambition to manage at least £3bn of discretionary funds under management.

“I would also like to thank Stephen Ford for his significant contribution to the turnaround at WH Ireland, having made great strides in reducing risk whilst establishing a robust platform on which to grow.  He should be proud of what he has helped to achieve and WH Ireland is very grateful to him for his invaluable contribution to this phase of its development.”

Commenting on today’s announcement, Michael Bishop, newly appointed Head of Wealth Management at WH Ireland, said:

“I am delighted to be joining WH Ireland at this opportune time; the team has made real progress in establishing a platform for growth and in developing a discretionary wealth management proposition that is now delivering strong inflows.

“However, there remains much work to do, particularly as we focus on accelerating our path to sustainable growth and profitability, and in time to exceed our current targets, supported by a strengthened financial position to underpin organic and acquisition investment.  

“There is an exciting opportunity to continue the development of a genuinely differentiated wealth management business at WH Ireland and I am looking forward to working with the team to do just that.”

Commenting, Stephen Ford, outgoing Head of Wealth Management said:

I am proud of what has been achieved within Wealth Management over the past three years and I am extremely grateful for all the support I have received from within the business during that time.  However, now is the right moment for me to step down as I focus more of my time on my family as we relocate to Devon.  I wish the firm all good fortune and will watch with interest as it achieves its ambitious growth plans”.

For further information please contact:

WH Ireland Group plc

Phillip Wale, Chief Executive Officer

+44(0) 20 7220 1666



Canaccord Genuity Limited

Andrew Potts / Tom Diehl 

+44(0) 20 7523 8000



MHP Communications

Reg Hoare / James Bavister               

+44 (0) 20 3128 8793


This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 as amended by regulation 11 of the Market Abuse (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019/310. With the publication of this announcement, this information is now considered to be in the public domain.



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