Business Action | February / March 2019


Independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.




North Devon wealth manager

and independent financial

advisers Philip J Milton

& Company Plc has been

appointed to manage a

further £55 million on behalf

of more than 1,600 new

individual investors.

Approached to help

The firm did not seek out the

opportunity, but was contacted

for its connections,

stability, trust and reputation

following the suspension of

the fund’s previous Londonbased

investment manager

by the Financial Conduct

Authority in December.

Managing director Philip

Petroc has been rated first out of 183 UK Further Education colleges

by education industry magazine FE Week

Toasting success: (from left) FE Week publisher Shane Mann, Petroc

principal Diane Dimond, Petroc vice principal Bill Blythe and FE Week

editor Nick Linford

Skills are one of the top

concerns for North Devon

businesses and the area has

received a massive boost

after Petroc was named top

Further Education college out

of 183 colleges in the UK in

FE Week’s annual NICDEX

league table.

NICDEX rates colleges in

four categories – learner satisfaction,

employer satisfaction,

16-to-18 positive progression

and adults into employment

– with a maximum potential

score of 40. Scores are based

on official criteria published

by the Department for


Petroc scored 93.8% for

employer satisfaction, 92%

for 16-to-18 positive progression,

56% for adult progression

into work and 81% for

learner satisfaction. Petroc’s

overall score of 36 placed it

two points above the second

place colleges and knocked

previous winner Exeter

College off the top spot.

Diane Dimond, principal

and CEO, said: “We’re

absolutely delighted to be top

of this highly-regarded league

table, improving on last year’s

second place.

“My thanks go to all of our

amazing staff and hardworking

students, as well as

employers and partners in

the area who work so closely

with us.

“At Petroc, success at

Milton commented: “Earlier

in the year, we achieved a

record £150 million under

our discretionary management,

where clients entrust

us with the daily decisions

for the management of

their capital with us. This is

something of which we were

immensely proud, albeit

Brexit-related volatility has

made this task challenging.

“This addition will take

total funds under our

management to over £200

million, which is a wonderful

achievement. This is also an

incredibly positive endorsement

of our services in that

the decision of the fund’s

every level is promoted as a

positive driver for continuing

in education and gaining

employment and every year

our students go on to the best

universities in the country,

higher and degree apprenticeships

as well as skilled careers.

“We pride ourselves on our

strong links with employers,

ensuring our learners have

great work opportunities

trustees and administrators

to appoint us reflects the

firm’s prowess, competence

and capabilities, as well as

our integrity and longevity.”

Philip J Milton &

Company will manage the

extra, segregated funds

without providing financial

advice at this stage and its

existing systems are fully

capable of managing the

increase in its work load.

“This really is wonderful

news for the firm,” added

Philip. “Our existing discretionary

investment clients

will also benefit as this gives

us improved economies of

scale and new investment

available to them, and I truly

believe this is why we have

such success with student

progression into employment.

We work closely with

organisations across a wide

range of sectors, and value

their feedback to shape our

curriculum and ensure we’re

meeting the needs of our

communities. The fact that

over 93% of employers would

recommend us as a training

provider is fantastic and

makes me extremely proud.”

Devon as a county scored

highly with City College

Plymouth, Exeter College and

South Devon College also

achieving top 12 positions.

Investment in Petroc’s

services will continue after

the announcement that it has

secured £1.2 million from the

European Regional Development

Fund to create a Centre

of Technology and Innovation

Excellence at its North Devon

campus in Barnstaple.

■■Details 01271 345291 or

Financial advisers to manage a further £55 million

opportunities for further

possible diversity and

support to existing holdings.

“We shall also be viewed as

a bigger ‘player’ in the market

at large, giving us the opportunity

of being propelled into

a new level of operation.”

Future expansion

Philip believes it will support

expansion of the firm’s

services and 30-strong team

and boost the North Devon

economy. He says it shows the

area is establishing the gravitas

to attract such confidence

from across the country.

■■Details 01271 344300 or

2 business action | February / March 2019 |

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