Industry veteran Ray Miles retires from Fortnum

Ray Miles
Fortnum Private Wealth Ltd - Executive Chair
Date: 10 November 2021
Position: Executive Chair
By Elizabeth Fry

Fortnum Private Wealth founder and executive chairman Ray Miles will step down from executive duties In December capping an impressive 51-year career in financial services.

Miles, who will continue serving as non-executive chairman, established Fortnum in 2010 to support professional financial advisers seeking an alternative to the large institutionally-owned dealer groups that dominated the landscape at the time.

Before that, that, he co-founded Associated Planners after starting his career in life insurance with MLC and later Aetna Life & Casualty.

Under Miles,  Associated Planners grew to more than $18 billion in funds under management and advice.

In 2004, he brokered the sale of Associated Planners to Challenger Financial Services Group for $99.9 million and its merger with Challenger's Garrisons Financial Planning to form Genesys Wealth Advisers.

There, he served as the inaugural chief executive.

Neil Younger, Fortnum's group chief executive said: "Ray is a pioneer of the advice industry. He built two exceptional businesses, effectively from scratch, and has championed the value of professional advice for five decades."

"Ray has never shied away from expressing his opinions on key issues including the separation of product and advice, vertical integration, and volume rebates. He has been a vocal supporter of higher education and training standards and regulation that strengthens consumer protections."

Younger said as non-executive chair, Miles will continue to provide counsel to the Fortnum board and leadership team.

Miles noted the huge changes in the advice industry over the past 50 years. "After decades of regulation ... the model has been reconfigured to put the client at the centre," he said.

"The people at Fortnum live out that client-first philosophy day in and day out, and I am proud of what we have achieved so far and will continue to build."

The outgoing executive chair acknowledged Younger's vision, commitment, and support.

"When looking for a successor, you look for someone younger, smarter, and capable of taking the business to the next level. Most importantly, you look for someone who will care for staff, advisers and clients as much as you do.

"You can't tell that from day one. We've all seen someone come into a business and take a lot of money out but add zero value or destroy value."