Stephen Baxter is co-founder and director of Robertson Baxter, with 15 years' experience in financial planning for ultra-high and high net worth individuals. He is currently working towards achieving chartered status from the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Robertson Baxter was established by Stephen Baxter and Greg Robertson to provide bespoke financial planning to individuals, families and trustees in Yorkshire and beyond. By combining a personal level of service and continuity with sophisticated investment solutions, the firm has grown significantly due to referrals from the professional community and its own clients.
What are the most important factors for you when selecting a discretionary fund manager (DFM)?
We seek a multi-asset investment approach that goes far beyond cash, bonds and equities, which has a core centred around an in-house view, with the ability to tailor to client requirements. It is important this process can be measured accurately in terms of a client’s expected experience. A firm that is independent and has an ownership structure that encourages continuity of employees is attractive and direct contact with these individuals is essential. Charges are obviously key but relative to performance.
What will make or break a pitch?
A firm that is confident in its investment process and in-house views and can show it has been reliable, despite the stress-testing of investment markets in recent years. A team must take accountability and ownership and actually care that matters are dealt with in an efficient and accurate manner. A pitch will be broken if it is demonstrated that the investment process is not coherent and that managers do their own thing, while trading on the name of the bigger brand.
What were the reasons for selecting your current providers?
They all follow a multi-asset approach to investment, with a coherent in-house strategy that is used as the core for clients' portfolios. Ownership is independent of investment banking concerns and encourages staff loyalty and continuity. The investment manager and supporting team have tenure and experience, meaning they have inherent knowledge, as well as the ability to communicate this effectively
Total assets outsourced:
Average portfolio size:
DFMs currently used:
Schroders, Cazenove Capital management, Brooks MacDonald, Investec Wealth & Investment and Heartwood
What do you value most in a DFM?
On a scale of one to five where five is the greatest
Past performance: 4
Size of firm: 3
Strength of process: 5