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Pub Club: Paul Derrien, Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management

Pub Club: Paul Derrien, Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management

We might need to be a little stricter on our definition of the humble pub, writes Suzie Bliss. Michelin starred restaurants and bistros may be pushing it somewhat, but if the occasional deviation from the rules means we can dine at The 10 Cases, I think we can let it slide.

Nestled in the bustling streets of Covent Garden, this ‘Bistrot à Vin’ only ever buys 10 cases of wine. On the menu you’ll find a small but special selection of wines to tickle your taste buds.

Today’s venue has been chosen by Paul Derrien, investment director and stalwart of Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management.

Derrien grew up in Jersey on the family farm, planting and digging Jersey Royals, in addition to other responsibilities, while also putting himself through rigorous athletics training.

‘Farming is seriously hard work. My parents would work in the glasshouses all day, without a break in peak season. I would cook lunch and take it out to them and the team in the packing sheds,’ he tells me.

In 1995, Derrien moved to London with no job, but an aim to further his athletics career when an opportunity to become a trainee stockbroker at NatWest presented itself.

‘I came up against a number of really good candidates. I was interviewed by Phil Walker, who is also now at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, and despite not being as qualified as the others, Phil was clearly rather more interested in my passion for sport and athletics than he was my qualifications, because I got the job,’ Derrien explains.

The wine comes first, so once our glasses are full, we decide on our food selecting from the list of delicious dishes scrawled on the blackboards around us. Derrien doesn’t seem to mind what sides we have, as long as we are game to try the lamb cutlets for the main event.

A silly question – of course we are. We are seasoned Pub Clubbers these days.

‘I was lucky to get into the industry when I did and spend time as a stockbroker. I spoke with clients every day and talked them through deals,’ he says.

‘Financial planning now plays a much more integral role in wealth management as a whole and we have a financial planner on every team for that reason. The NatWest business that I started in was almost exclusively stockbroking. That model has changed a lot over the years,’ he continues.

The nucleus of Derrien’s team at NatWest moved to Collins Stewart, which had assets under management (AUM) of around £1 billion in 2001.

Through expansion, both organic and inorganic, the business is what we see today: Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management with AUM of £14.4 billion (as at 31 December 2016).

Not only has Derrien continued with his athletics career, competing internationally in the hammer and discus, he also rose up the ranks at Canaccord to sit on the portfolio construction team with the firm’s new CIO, Michel Perera. He also heads up a team of seven, which is one of seven teams in the company’s London office.

‘Phil [Walker] now works on my team and says he regrets his decision every day. I will be eternally thankful for his mistake.’

Glass half full: ‘It might sound clichéd but I love every day that I come into work. The markets can give you a real rollercoaster of a ride, but in the downtimes – 1987, the late nineties, 2008, the Brexit result – you learn a lot. I know that when we next hit a bump, I can use my experience to help navigate a way through. Market turbulence can create opportunities. Life is never dull!’

Glass half empty: ‘The investment world has changed so much since I was a teen to now. The stockbroking days of old, when you picked up the phone and talked to clients all day have gone, as there is considerably more paperwork these days. I certainly miss those days, although I probably look at them through rose tinted glasses.’

If you would like to show us your favourite pub, email Suzie on sbliss@citywire.co.uk. 

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