Investment manager

Former Walker Crips investment manager loses employment tribunal hearing

A former investment manager has failed in his bid to get an employment tribunal to confirm he was, in fact, an employee of Walker Crips Investment Management and not self-employed as stipulated in his contract.

Anthony Manning joined Walker Crips from JM Finn in April 2015 as an independent partner/agent, responsible for his own tax and National Insurance contributions.

He was fired in January 2021 after Walker Crips concluded he could no longer certify him as a “fit and proper” person under the FCA’s Senior Management Certification Scheme (SMCR) and license. exercise of the CISI declaration of professional status (SPS).

In court, Manning was challenging the legality of Walker Crips’ decision – but his “worker” status had to be established before he could.

Employee or self-employed?

Throughout his employment at Walker Crips, Manning was self-employed for tax purposes and continues to be so at his new company, Dowgate Capital.

At Walker Crips, Manning was responsible for growing his own customer base and was not assigned any customers by the company. When he left JM Finn he brought with him between £50m and £60m of funds under management. That amount had risen to around £80-85m by the time he left the company.

Within the confines of Walker Crips’ compliance regime, Manning had significant but not unlimited freedom in how he served his clients.

In April 2018, Walker Crips’ contracts were reviewed by external advisers in light of the introduction of IR35 legislation, which aims to ensure that self-employed workers are genuinely self-employed and do not participate in fraud schemes. tax evasion.

Advisers concluded that the self-employed Walker Crips were likely genuine.

But Manning argued that, despite what was stated in his contact, he was a de facto employee as he worked, among other things, only for Walker Crips, was integrated into the workforce, used a company email address and represented the company at social events.

One of the main points of contention was the use of a “surrogate” to provide cover when Manning or another independent agent was unavailable. But the judge concluded that this arrangement did not mean that Manning was a “worker” within the meaning of the legal definition.

Labor Judge Stout ultimately ruled that Manning did not qualify as a worker.

“Although [he] was mostly fully integrated into [Walker Crips]the fact that he was not subjected to [Walker Crips’] employee disciplinary policy, and were assessed purely from a regulatory perspective rather than more broadly are also deviating from employee/worker status.

The judge added that Manning could have worked with other investment management platforms, but chose not to, he was free to choose his working hours and holidays, bore all financial risks associated with the business he was undertaking and bearing many of his own underlined business expenses. his independent status.