Charles Stanley’s head of branch network Gary Teper admits the firm is under-represented in the Northeast of England and parts of Scotland and is open to acquiring new teams to cover these areas.
The national wealth manager has historically been opportunistic in expanding its regional presence, such as when it opened its Liverpool office in August 2010 on the back of acquiring a local employee benefits firm.
‘The branch network is the jewel in the crown and we think the opportunities are significant. A lot of people prefer to be looked after by local professionals,’ Teper said.
‘We have historically been very Southern and Southwest-focused and are quite well represented around the country expect in the Northeast and parts of Scotland.
‘If the opportunity arose where people are considering leaving their firm and they are the right fit, the proposition we can offer them is very compelling.’
Charles Stanley currently has a 32-strong branch network, which it believes will drive its growth going forward, and Teper said all of its offices are open to new hires.
‘You meet a lot of people who are well remunerated, but when you scratch beneath the surface, it is not really them, it’s the bank behind them feeding them leads,’ he said. ‘We want self-starters who are both excellent investment managers and customer relations people, and we will provide the backbone of support.’
Life after RDR
Looking ahead to life after the retail distribution review (RDR), Teper, who became Charles Stanley’s youngest board director last month, said the group has no plans to segment its client base. It will not look to introduce a minimum investment level, unlike many of its peers that are doing so, often in reaction to increased regulatory costs.
‘We don’t see it as appropriate – we’ll provide a bespoke personalised service for any client,’ he said.
Elsewhere on the retail distribution review (RDR) front, the firm says its investment managers are now nearly all RDR-compliant, with the vast majority now qualified to PCIAM level 6 or 7 – above the level 4 requirements of the regulator.
Teper believes the impact of the regulation is likely to polarise the market between a full service wealth management and execution-only stockbrokers as increased regulation squeezes the old-fashioned stockbroker model.
‘The industry will see many firms moving upstream or downstream to the self-directed end of the market,’ he added.
Charles Stanley reported in June that funds under management were up 6% to £15.4 billion in the 12 months to the end of March.