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How to build a successful regional growth strategy
by Danielle Levy on Mar 14, 2013 at 13:06
Successfully setting up a regional office represents one of the greatest challenges a wealth management company can face.
Understanding the local market, having the right team and deciding the degree to which the regional outpost will have the flexibility to deviate from a centralised investment process are all key considerations.
The success of the winners of our Regional Stars Awards 2013 and a scan of some of the assets that are managed by local offices suggest that a regional growth strategy is one that should not be underestimated or ignored by firms.
While a number of larger organisations have scaled back their branch networks in recent years, others view the regions as a significant opportunity and this is evident in the number of firms planning to open new offices this year alone.
Brooks Macdonald represents one such firm, having opened new offices in Edinburgh and York over the past three years and with plans to launch in Birmingham by Autumn of this year.
The firm also gained a presence in the Channel Islands through its recent acquisition of Spearpoint.
‘The regions are crucial, absolutely crucial for us. We have seen a lot of growth outside of London and we are really pleased with that,’ Chris Macdonald, chief executive of Brooks Macdonald, said. He is seeing ‘commonality’ in growth opportunities across the regions.
His sentiments are echoed by Gary Teper, a director at Charles Stanley who is responsible for oversight of the firm’s 32-strong branch network. ‘My personal view is our branch network is one of the jewels in the Charles Stanley crown.
‘We have got an opportunity to create local relationships with intermediaries and private clients, who want to be supported by a national business but like the idea of a local presence. And with technology now, whether you are sitting in London or Truro it makes little difference,’ he said
While Charles Stanley gives its managers autonomy on the investment side and is keen to retain its regional focus, Teper says the firm’s approach contrasts with a growing trend towards centralisation.
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