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About Hargreaves Lansdown

Company history

A timeline of events that have been instrumental in shaping Hargreaves Lansdown.

1981

1981

Hargreaves Lansdown formed

Hargreaves Lansdown formed

  • by Peter Hargreaves and Stephen Lansdown.
  • Providing information to clients on unit trusts and tax planning matters.

First advertisement placed in the national press

  • It was headed "Choosing a unit trust".

Our first investment newsletter

  • Titled ‘The Unit Investor’, it highlighted two UK Equity Income funds: Henderson Income & Growth, and Save & Prosper Income & Growth.
  • Marking the beginnings of our direct, information-driven approach to helping clients choose their own investments.
  • Our fund choice has changed throughout the years as income fund managers have moved, come into form or gone off the boil. However, equity income has remained a recurring theme.

1986

1986

Discretionary management service launched

Discretionary management service launch

  • Financial Services Act introduced regulation and authorisation of investment businesses.

1987

1987

Hargreaves Lansdown PEP (Personal Equity Plan) launched

Hargreaves Lansdown PEP (Personal Equity Plan) launched

  • The summer months of 1987 witnessed a frenzy from clients eager to get into the stock market.
  • There was a flurry of unit trust launches, each breaking all records to become the biggest ever launch.
  • At this time, even estate agents were mailing unit trust application forms to their lists of property enquirers.
  • This was our first experience of handling very high volumes of business.

Stock market crash

  • Some fund managers simply switched off their telephones and refused to take client instructions.
  • Some brokers also stopped communicating with their clients.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown kept in touch with clients, saw them consolidate their investments, recommend their friends and remain loyal during the subsequent recovery.

1989

1989

PEPs were given a boost in the Budget

PEPs were given a boost in the Budget

  • This was due to the introduction of unit trust PEPs.
  • Income unit trusts were again the main beneficiary.

1991

1991

Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers was formed

Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers was formed

  • This was in response to growing client demand for investment trusts.
  • We pioneered private investor involvement in new investment trust issues by streamlining the application process.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown unified stockbroking and PEP administration operations to put in a significant PEP bid in the privatisations.
  • The small print of the offer gave priority to PEP applicants and HL clients thereby benefited from superior allocation in the offer.

1994

1994

HL Fund Managers was formed

HL Fund Managers was formed

  • This was to provide a range of managed equity portfolios.

1996

1996

Hargreaves Lansdown discount initial charge in full

Hargreaves Lansdown went "full discount"

  • This applied to unit trusts and OEICs for clients who make their own investment decisions.
  • This took into account the long-term view of discounting all initial commission and relied on annual commission.
  • This move benefited clients by getting their investments off to a head start.
  • It firmly aligned the interests of the firm with the interests of clients and led to a more stable long-term income stream.
  • This allows us to continue servicing clients through stock market ups and downs.

Launch of the PEP Discount Directory

  • This has now become our biannual Performance and Discount Review.
  • An information revolution was needed so clients could check discounts and navigate the choice on offer.
  • It pulled together performance, charges, commissions, yields, the discounts we offered and an explanation of how the discounts worked.

Application form revolution

  • We introduced the prototype of a consolidated application form which could be accepted by different groups.
  • Previously they had each only accepted their own application form and this caused huge inconvenience to investors.
  • Our work on this has never stopped and now it is possible to transfer investments from most companies with an entirely online process.

1999

1999

Hargreaves Lansdown Pensions Direct formed

Hargreaves Lansdown Pensions Direct formed

  • Previously the average pension plan of £50 a month generated £400 commission to a salesperson.
  • The company's aim was to innovate and deliver transparent, good value pensions for private investors.

Launch of online share dealing service

  • The service launched with a tariff starting from £9.95 (the cheapest in the UK at the time).
  • This gave us an early understanding of how clients wanted to use the internet for dealing wherever possible.

Hargreaves Lansdown Corporate Solutions formed

  • This provided independent expert pensions advice to companies.

PEPs were replaced by ISAs

  • Over their 12 year history PEPs had attracted 12.2 million account holders.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown had become a leading PEP discount broker.

2000

2000

Launch of our annuity service

Launch of our annuity service

  • For the first time, people could easily compare and shop around for the best annuity rates available.
  • Not long after starting we were arranging the most annuities of any UK broker and this continues to be the case today.

First issue of the Investment Times

  • A publication devoted purely to investment.
  • This proved a great success and well over 100 issues have now been produced.

Soaring ISA volumes challenged the investment industry

  • This was due to the demand for technology investments which seemed insatiable.
  • Mark Dampier warned clients "not to get too carried away with one red hot theme" and not to commit too much of their portfolio to this area.

2001

2001

Launch of the first fund in our Multi-Manager fund range

Launch of the first fund in our Multi-Manager fund range

  • This fund is still running and is now called the HL Multi-Manager Balanced Managed Trust.

Major systems development

  • Enabled us to share renewal commission in addition to initial commission on funds.
  • The HL Vantage service quickly took a major share of the burgeoning fund supermarket business.

Launch of stakeholder pensions

  • These simplified, low cost pensions were available to a wider audience.
  • But the application form was still 32 pages long. Our pensions experts reduced it perfectly legally to a simple 6-page document.
  • HL quickly became the leading stakeholder pension broker.

Growth of HL Multi-Manager fund range

  • Clients increasingly wished to hand over their portfolios to professional management.
  • HL Multi-Manager Special Situations Trust launched in December 2001 and HL Multi-Manager Income and Growth Trust in October 2002.

2002

2002

Restructure of our discretionary services

Restructure of our discretionary services

  • Adopting the name: "Portfolio Management Service".

Growth of online investing

  • As acceptance of the internet grew, we saw 10% of applications placed online for the William Hill Share Offer.
  • With investors reticent to invest new money during these years, they were happy to consolidate all their investments in the Vantage service in return for a share of the renewal commission and greater control over their assets.
  • The number of accounts available increased to include the ISA account, the PEP account, the Fund account and the Share account.

2003

2003

Launch of the HL Vantage SIPP account

Launch of the HL Vantage SIPP account

  • For the first time, clients could bring their pension arrangements into the HL Vantage service.
  • They could now benefit from the low costs and initial discounts which ISA and PEP investors had been enjoying for over a decade.
  • The HL Vantage service was the first direct-to-investor fund supermarket to offer SIPPs.

Financial advisory division was restructured and relaunched in April

  • It was launched as Hargreaves Lansdown Financial Practitioners (now known as Hargreaves Lansdown Advisory Services).
  • Highly qualified and experienced, nearly 90% of the practitioners have achieved advanced examinations in financial planning.
  • Salaried and structured to ensure advice is fully objective, with quality of service considered as part of their remuneration package, this continues to be the case today.

First appearance of the ‘Wealth 150’

  • A list of our favourite funds in a variety of sectors.
  • Overall our selections have performed very well and we have not been afraid to let investors know when this hasn’t been the case, so they can consider alternatives.

2004

2004

Launch of HL Markets

Launch of HL Markets

  • This provided sophisticated investors with access to Contracts for Difference.
  • It was followed by FX trading later that year and Spread Betting in 2006.

2006

2006

Relaunch of Hargreaves Lansdown website

Relaunch of Hargreaves Lansdown website

  • The change included improved dealing and research facilities.

Hargreaves Lansdown introduce non-executive directors

Launch of the HL Multi-Manager Cautious Managed Trust

  • This is now known as the HL Multi-Manager Equity & Bond Trust.

2007

2007

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

239p

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

239p

Hargreaves Lansdown floated on the stock market

Hargreaves Lansdown floated on the stock market

  • 25% of shares in the company were made available to institutions, employees and existing clients.
  • No new money was raised as part of the offer and 75% of the company continues to be owned by Peter Hargreaves, Stephen Lansdown, other directors and staff.

HL Vantage SIPP has assets of over £1 billion for the first time

  • By the year end, that amount reached £1.7 billion.

HL Multi Manager team now manages over £1 billion in four funds

  • Strategic Bond Trust launch extends the HL Multi-Manager range
  • Lee Gardhouse and his team continue to win industry accolades.

2009

2009

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

298.2p

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

298.2p

Bank of England cuts the base rate to a record low of 0.5%

Bank of England cuts the base rate to a record low of 0.5%

  • Here it remains for over 6 years.
  • Non-executive director Mike Evans replaced Stephen Lansdown as Chairman of the board.
  • Stephen continues as an executive director.

2010

2010

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

595p

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

595p

Launch of Corporate Vantage Service

Launch of Corporate Vantage Service

  • This links our existing advice service to employers with our Vantage platform for individual investors.
  • This can deliver better outcomes for employers and employees alike.

Ian Gorham replaces Peter Hargreaves as Chief Executive

  • Peter remains on the board as an executive director.

2011

2011

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

646.5p

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

646.5p

Hargreaves Lansdown is promoted to the FTSE 100 index

Hargreaves Lansdown is promoted to the FTSE 100 index

  • Making it one of the 100 largest companies (by market capitalisation) listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Launch of the first HL smartphone app

  • With an aim of helping people to monitor and manage their investments on the move.

The government introduces Junior ISAs to replace Child Trust Funds (CTFs)

  • HL is ready to accept applications from day one.
  • We also successfully campaigned for the rules to be changed so that CTFs could be transferred into a Junior ISA.

Changes to pension rules

  • This means you no longer have to access your pension at age 75.
  • This increases the attractiveness of pensions for many.

2012

2012

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

780p

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

780p

Stephen Lansdown steps down as a board member and employee

Stephen Lansdown steps down as a board member and employee

  • But, is still a major shareholder to this day.

2014

2014

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

1550p

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

1550p

'RDR2' triggers a major change in how we collect revenue from clients

'RDR2' triggers a major change in how we collect revenue from clients

  • This required extensive system changes that resulted in lower charges for the majority of our clients, and we continue to drive down the cost of investing.
  • This is done by negotiating exclusive deals with major fund managers.
  • A case in point was the hugely successful launch of the new Woodford Equity Income fund where HL clients were able to obtain at a low level of annual charge not available anywhere else.

Annual ISA allowance jumps to £15,000

  • At the same time complete flexibility is allowed on how much can go to a Cash ISA and how much to a Stocks & Shares ISA.
  • This meant investors could at last choose to invest their cash in the stock market in the knowledge they could revert to a Cash ISA in future if required.

2015

2015

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

1525p

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

1525p

Three more HL Multi-manager funds launched

Three more HL Multi-manager funds launched

  • Covering the Asia & Emerging Markets, Europe, and UK Growth sectors.

Peter Hargreaves steps down from the board of directors

  • But continues to work for Hargreaves Lansdown.

Sweeping changes to pension rules

  • Principally allowing more flexibility at retirement, makeing pensions more popular than ever.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown is at the forefront of facilitating this for clients.

Assets under management top £50billion, among over 700,000 clients

Launch of 'Portfolio+'

  • A new service to help clients choose from a range of investment portfolios which are balanced automatically.

Peter Hargreaves retires from Hargreaves Lansdown

Peter Hargreaves retires from Hargreaves Lansdown

  • Though he still remains a major shareholder.

2016

2016

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

1481p

CLOSING HIGH SHARE PRICE

1481p

Britain voted to leave the European Union

On 23rd June 2016, Hargreaves Lansdown’s Chief Executive, Ian Gorham, said:

“We are pleased the referendum is now over, as extended uncertainty would undoubtedly have impacted on investors, markets and businesses.

Hargreaves Lansdown did not take a position and remained neutral in this debate. Whilst we will always speak up in the interests of savers and investors, we regarded the referendum as a political matter and therefore one for the British people to decide.

We consider keeping investors well informed an important part of the Hargreaves Lansdown service. We will continue to inform them of issues relevant to UK retail investors. This will help them make their investment decisions."

Interest rate cut to 0.25%

  • In August, the Bank of England cut interest rates from 0.5% to 0.25%. This was the first cut since 2009, a new record low.

2017

2017

Chris Hill replaces Ian Gorham as Chief Executive

Chris Hill replaces Ian Gorham as Chief Executive