The appointment is subject to statuary approvals.
Duckworth (pictured) initially joined Openwork as commercial development director before being promoted to chief executive after five years.
He led Openwork through its independence from Zurich Insurance Group in 2018 after Zurich sold its 25 per cent stake.
Howell stepped down as chief executive of wealth manager Rathbone Brothers in May 2019 after a five-year tenure.
He previously served as chief executive of Williams de Broe Wealth Management and chief executive of Fortis Private Banking.
Prior to these roles, he had a 24-year international banking career with the Barclays group.
Time is right
Openwork Group chairman, Christopher Rodrigues, said: “On behalf of the board and shareholders, I would like to place on record our gratitude to Mark for all he has done to develop the Openwork franchise; during his tenure the group’s financial performance has been transformed.
“With Openwork poised to take advantage of its achievements since its independence, we are very fortunate to have attracted someone of Philip’s experience to lead us into our next chapter and I welcome him to what we intend to be the start of a long-term relationship with the group.”
Duckworth said he felt it was the right time to “hand the baton” to a successor to drive Openwork’s next phase of strategy in becoming an independent, adviser-owned business.
Howell added: “The market demand for financial advice continues to grow unabated. I very much look forward to working with our partners and management team in realising the full potential of the business.”