Register free for our breaking news email alerts with analysis and cutting edge commentary from our award winning team. Registration only takes a minute.

Regional footprints: the future of five firms in the South West

This week we turn our attention to the South West, where we caught up with five wealth managers to learn more about their past, present and future.

James Rodgers

Quilter Cheviot, Bristol

Celebrating its 20th birthday this month, Quilter Cheviot’s team in Bristol has expanded quickly over the past year and has now outgrown its office. In March, the team will be moving to new premises in the centre of Bristol to have space to grow further.

In 2017, the firm hired five people, bringing the team total to 23. ‘Since [opening the office] our relationships with both financial advisers and clients in the region have grown immensely. We have seen a significant increase in funds under management and have needed to expand as a result,’ James Rodgers, head of the office, explained.

As part of a national firm with £23 billion of assets under management, Rodgers says that its reputation certainly helps to attract young talent.

‘We want to attract the right kind of people that have an affinity to Bristol. We do that by giving them the time and support they need, and making them feel part of the team from day one’.

Having had a very busy recruitment drive in 2017, he anticipates this slowing down as the team settles into the new office. However, Rodgers reports he is always on the lookout for new talent – ‘if the right candidates come along we would certainly consider adding to the team.’

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

James Rodgers

Quilter Cheviot, Bristol

Celebrating its 20th birthday this month, Quilter Cheviot’s team in Bristol has expanded quickly over the past year and has now outgrown its office. In March, the team will be moving to new premises in the centre of Bristol to have space to grow further.

In 2017, the firm hired five people, bringing the team total to 23. ‘Since [opening the office] our relationships with both financial advisers and clients in the region have grown immensely. We have seen a significant increase in funds under management and have needed to expand as a result,’ James Rodgers, head of the office, explained.

As part of a national firm with £23 billion of assets under management, Rodgers says that its reputation certainly helps to attract young talent.

‘We want to attract the right kind of people that have an affinity to Bristol. We do that by giving them the time and support they need, and making them feel part of the team from day one’.

Having had a very busy recruitment drive in 2017, he anticipates this slowing down as the team settles into the new office. However, Rodgers reports he is always on the lookout for new talent – ‘if the right candidates come along we would certainly consider adding to the team.’

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Neil Whelan

RC Brown Investment Management, Bristol

Boutique firm RC Brown Investment Management is experiencing the beauty of a smaller business, as investment director Neil Whelan outlines. ‘Being part of a small firm means the whole team can be involved in and influence all areas of the business and investment process, which provides an excellent opportunity for younger members to develop their knowledge and experience.’

Founded in 2010, but with its institutional heritage dating back to 1990, the team of nine look after £270 million of assets under management. Over the next 12 months, the team aims to continue to grow the business ‘hopefully at least as quickly as the current rate of 25% per annum’.

There is also a focus on the company’s incubator service, pursuing opportunities with new firms looking for assistance with their infrastructure, back office resources or regulatory capital.

Based in an office next to Temple Meads train station, Whelan claims the firm is ideally placed to meet with the steady stream of company management and fund groups visiting the area. When asked about challenges of operating in the region, he says: ‘The biggest downside to the location is the traffic and lack of parking!’

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

James Priday

P1 Investment Management, Exeter

P1 Investment Management was spun out of Prydis Wealth in October 2016, so it is still a fairly new business. Led by managing director James Priday, the team has grown from three to 10 in just 18 months.

‘We had the starting base at Prydis Wealth at over £120 million in assets, within P1, since then it has been growing steadily. We have nine different adviser firms signed up to different services,’ Priday said.

The company has just launched a suite of five low-cost portfolios which it claimed will be the ‘cheapest passive portfolios on the market’.

Priday said: ‘There are no more plans to launch any further products in the range. At the moment, the one thing that is quite key for us is that we don’t want to get caught up in office and people expansion just for the sake of it.’

However, he did say that he is looking to expand the company’s business development team in different areas.

He added: ‘Challenges for a new firm like us is obviously you’re a new brand, you have to build trust with people around the country. Advisers need to be confident what we’re doing is right for clients. That’s the number one challenge for any new business.’

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Nicholas Skelhorn

Brooks Macdonald, Taunton

Brooks Macdonald opened its Taunton office in November 2011 and since then it has grown from eight initial employees to 10. Nicholas Skelhorn, senior investment director and head of the office, says over 95% of funds under management have been introduced to the branch via relationships with advisers.

‘We have built our business on the core Brooks Macdonald philosophies of strong relationships, trust, investing in high-quality people and supporting the local community through various charities and sponsorships,’ he said.

These include being the principal sponsor of the Taunton Literary Festival last year, sponsoring both the Cornwall Rugby Football Union and Cornwall Youth Development Programme, as well as backing young British yachtsman Sam Goodchild in a number of campaigns.

Skelhorn added: ‘We run a range of initiatives to assist our introducing professional and financial advisers. These include our adviser academies, in which notable speakers discuss topics and issues at the forefront of the industry’s agenda. In an environment of increasing regulatory change, it is crucial that financial and professional advisers are kept up to date with developments.’

In total, Brooks Macdonald has £11.7 billion in discretionary assets under management. Like its peers, it is having to grapple with ever-changing regulation.

‘We aim to provide an outstanding service to our clients, while enhancing our service offerings and adapting to the fast-changing regulatory landscape. We are investing in technology to ensure we stay at the forefront of the industry.’

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

James Johnsen

Church House, Sherborne

Church House has its history in the South West, going back to 1792, but the office where it is currently located is just five years old.

The branch in Sherborne houses 22 people, including those who work in the administration centre.

Director James Johnsen said: ‘We’ve seen fairly steady growth over the last few years. There are a lot of people who’ve moved into the area quite recently either from London or the home counties, attracted by lower land and property values. There are also very good schools in the area – those have been big draws. Clients have often been surprised and happy to find a London level of sophistication on their doorstep in Dorset.’

While Johnsen does not disclose the AUM for the company, it is understood to be in the region of £1 billion.

The company launched its managed portfolio service, which was originally developed for existing smaller size clients, a few years ago.

‘We are now looking to make that available to intermediaries and others like solicitors who have small trusts,’ Johnsen revealed. ‘We are also expanding our charity offering to local charities who often find it difficult, largely as a function of their size and location, to get any particular attention from the large, well-known charity fund management specialists
in the City.’

He added: ‘As one of the very few discretionary fund management firms in the South West, we like to think we have a special service to offer and that our long track record dating back to 1999 (when Church House was incorporated) which stands our clients in very good stead.’

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
1 Comment Play Citywire Scotland: how wealth managers use new tech

Citywire Scotland: how wealth managers use new tech

We caught up with a few wealth managers at our annual event in Gleneagles to find out what technological innovations they are employing across their businesses.

1 Comment Play CEO Tapes: Buxton to Gilbert - ‘my Glencore quandary’

CEO Tapes: Buxton to Gilbert - ‘my Glencore quandary’

Do not miss the first two minutes of this film as Richard Buxton shares how he has been challenged by a client for owning shares in a certain company.

Play CEO Tapes: the huge opportunities for asset managers

CEO Tapes: the huge opportunities for asset managers

From tech disruption, retirement and poaching, the CEO discuss the opportunities for their businesses in this episode.

Read More
Wealth Manager on Twitter