Wealth Manager top 100: the first 20 most powerful names in fund selection
Barclays (wealth & investment)
‘Always have innovation as your top priority,’ is the essence of Jaime Arguello’s philosophy. Barclays’ head of multi-management in the wealth and investment division thrives on unearthing new talent and says if he was not plying his trade in this field he would like to be a modern art dealer ‘to identify talent from a completely different angle and skill-set’.
Arguello has honed his process during a 25-year career, which started in Paris where he worked for various asset management firms after attaining an economics and politics degree at Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. Pictet convinced him to move to Geneva to head its fixed income department and third-party mutual funds offering, and he spent 10 years at the firm before joining Barclays.
With £12 billion invested in collectives and a 90-strong open-ended fund buy list, Arguello certainly makes the cut as one of the most influential individuals in fund selection in UK wealth management. He highlights Lindsell Train’s Nick Train as a fund manager to watch.
Derek Beatty’s favourite subjects at school, and those in which he excelled at, were economics and art. With this in mind, he notes: ‘If I hadn’t ended up in finance, I would have liked to have explored various options in the art world.’ However, he insists there is still a very creative aspect to being a portfolio manager, which satisfies some of his artistic ambitions.
Beatty, a senior portfolio manager concentrating on fund selection in Richard Warne's team, started his career in 2002 as an investment consultant at BWCI Group. He joined Credit Suisse three years later and has worked for the business in London, Guernsey and Sydney.
As well as an MBA in corporate finance and accounting, he has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and became a CFA charterholder in 2006. The best piece of advice he has received during his career is ‘keep your head down and focus on the day job, eventually you’ll get the recognition you desire’.
Psigma Investment Management
Thomas Becket admits he did not have a clue what he wanted to do with his life when he graduated with a classics degree from Trinity College, Dublin. ‘University lecturer was my preferred choice of a limited list, thereby shielding me from the ravages of growing up under the comfort blanket academia can provide. My parents saw this for the farce that it was and told me to grow up and get a job. I had seen the film Wall Street and had been impressed by the investment bankers who presented to us students in the “milk round”, so finance it was.’
Becket joined Psgima in March 2005, and quickly climbed the ladder, launching the Dynamic Multi Asset fund and becoming the firm’s chief investment officer. He highlights Tom Naughton, manager of the Prusik Asian Income fund, as the next rising star manager due to his ‘unique process and excellent performance’.
Stanhope chief investment officer Jonathan Bell cites John Paulson prior to the financial crisis as one of his favoured fund managers. Bell says his successful career in financial services is thanks to his fiancée at the time’s encouragement to apply for his first job.
‘Had I not been offered that job I may not have been able to follow the career I wanted,’ he explains. His career includes spells as CIO at Newton, Principal Investment Management and an assistant director at BZW Portfolio Management.
Bell is a fellow of the Securities Institute, and holds a degree in economics and politics from the University of Wales. He has an MBA from Cranfield School of Management and wrote Start With the Map the Right Way Up: An Introduction to Investment.
The company manages more than £5 billion in assets, with around £3.5 billion in collectives. It has a 70-strong buy list (plus ETFS), which Bell says is very prescriptive.
JO Hambro Investment Management
John Bellamy, who joined JO Hambro Investment Management (Johim) in 2007, cites Odey Absolute Return as the best fund he has invested in. Buckmaster & Moore, the long-established London stockbroker that was later taken over by Credit Suisse, was Bellamy’s first employer in the early 1980s.
He then spent a decade at Credit Suisse before moving to Johim. Having clocked up many years of experience running portfolios for private clients, trusts and charities, he is now a director, running equity and mixed-asset strategies.
He is involved in the firm’s fund selection process, which is centred on a 50-strong buy list and has a heavy bias towards open-ended funds. The director insists the list is by no means limited to behemoth funds.‘We have full flexibility to allocate to smaller funds and have seeded in the past,’ he explains.
Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
Henriette Bergh drives fund research at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management in her role as head of manager selection strategies.
Prior to joining the bank she was an executive director at Goldman Sachs Asset Management and also enjoyed a spell at Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat.
She can count an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business among her academic accolades, alongside a masters degree in economics from the College of Europe and a BA in the same subject from the Université Catholique de Louvain.
The London-based multi-lingual selection head has experience advising both institutional and private clients across multiple asset classes.
Shauna Bevan graduated from Oxford University with a degree in classics and has a deep love of the written word, so much so that she envisages she would have become a literary agent had she not ended up in fund selection.
Bevan joined Charles Stanley in 2003, having previously worked at Merrill Lynch, and says the best advice she has been given during her career is ‘never be afraid to ask the question if you don’t know the answer’. Her roles within the business include being joint head of collectives research and a member of Charles Stanley’s Investment Strategy Committee.
Bevan, who now has 14 years of investment experience and holds a post-graduate Certificate in Finance from the University of London, believes funds are reaching capacity quicker these days. This, she says, makes ‘identification of good funds earlier a key priority’. She suggests Chris Higham of the Aviva Investors Strategic Bond fund as a future star, and says the Findlay Park American fund has been her best investment to date.
If he hadn’t ended up in fund selection Oliver Blackbourn would have considered working in the investment team of a top hedge fund, attracted to the prospect of expressing specific investment ideas in a highly risk-aware way.
‘This understanding of the relationship between risk and return is what sets top investors apart from the rest of the industry,’ he says. Having graduated from Imperial College London with an MSc in mechanical engineering, Blackbourn joined Vestra at the beginning of 2009. He is currently a senior investment analyst within the research team and focuses on fund selection and portfolio construction.
The Jupiter Strategic Bond fund remains the best fund he has backed, although he notes he is always on the lookout for potential new additions. ‘There will always be up-and-coming managers who will replace the current crop and it is important to identify them,’ he says. Blackbourn is a CFA charterholder.
Schroders Private Banking
Martin Blank joined Schroders in 2001 as a graduate trainee, and became an analyst in the fund of hedge funds team. Five years later he transferred to Schroder New Finance Capital, where he managed fund of hedge funds. After joining this part of the business he was given responsibility for analysing long-short equity funds, as well as managing the Opus Alternative – Global Long-Short Equity fund.
In 2012, he became head of manager selection for Schroders Private Banking, while continuing to select and monitor funds for a third-party manager Ucits hedge fund platform. Blank studied economics and management at Cambridge University and is a CFA charterholder.
Stonehage Investment Partners
Patience, discipline and consistency are three tenets upon which Stonehage head of research Kirsten Boldarin bases her investment philosophy. ‘If you seek out managers who apply these principles and apply them yourself when investing, success is almost guaranteed,’ she says. Boldari gained a degree in quantitative finance from the University of Cape Town, which allowed her to fulfil her dream of carving out a career in finance.
‘Central to the private wealth management service we offer, and its bespoke nature, is the concept of building client knowledge and trust. This is the most gratifying part of my job and any role that provided these characteristics would be one I would seek out if I were to have chosen a different career path,’ she says of alternative career paths.
Boldarin joined Stonehage in 2006 after a period at Old Mutual Asset Managers in Cape Town.
Richard Bullas, who has taken over the Franklin UK Smaller Companies fund, is tipped by Alex Brandreth as a fund manager to watch. Brandreth carries out open-ended fund research at Brown Shipley and manages the firm’s Novia model portfolio range. He joined Brown Shipley in 2010 as a research analyst and now focuses on its Multi-Manager Growth and Multi-Manager International funds. He began his career more than six years ago at Greystone Wealth Management, where he researched collectives.
Brandreth suspects his love of numbers would have brought him into the field of accountancy and is very keen to highlight that it is a team effort at Brown Shipley, citing the words of Michael Jordan: ‘Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.’
Brown Shipley’s buy list comprises 85 open-ended funds, 39 investment trusts, 15 exchange-traded and index funds and four structured products.
Marcus Brookes heads Cazenove’s multi-manager range and is responsible for the company’s private client fund research. He and colleague Robin McDonald will now join forces with Schroders’ Private Banking’s Martin Blank, as the two firms integrate post their merger earlier this year.
Brookes also co-manages Cazenove’s six-strong line-up of multi-manager funds alongside McDonald. After a long period unrated, Brookes returned with a Citywire A-rating in September 2013 after a solid three years across the pair’s multi-manager range, with the Balanced fund returning 30.3% versus a peer-average of 21%.
A University of Stirling graduate with a masters degree in investment analysis, he began his career at Friends Ivory & Sime. From 1999 he formed a partnership with multi-manager Bambos Hambi, working together first at Rothschilds and then Gartmore.
He cites Clive Miller, his former economics teacher, as an inspiration during his career and says the best lesson he has picked up is ‘opinions may change but principles may not’.
Ross Brookes could well have been lining up alongside the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge rather than analysing open-ended funds for Charles Stanley. ‘Having signed as a schoolboy at Chelsea, my first thought was to be a footballer but, unfortunately, that never materialised,’ he reflects. ‘Fund selection is far more glamorous anyway!’
Two of the names on Brookes’ preferred fund team sheet are JO Hambro Capital Management’s Citywire AA-rated duo Clive Beagles and James Lowen. He cites their UK Equity Income fund as his best investment to date. Meanwhile, he names former Charles Stanley colleague Henry Dixon as a rising star. Brookes started his career at Advisory & Brokerage Services, now Origen, and holds the CISI masters in wealth management alongside the Investment Management Certificate.
Smith & Williamson Investment Management
James Burns has established a strong following during the course of his career, but is only too aware of how quickly things can turn. ‘It can take a lifetime to build a reputation but only a day to ruin it,’ he philosophises.
Burns graduated from the University of St Andrews with a degree in management. He started out with NCL Investments in September 1999 and joined the firm’s investment trust desk in January 2001. He forged his alliance with Smith & Williamson in 2003 when it acquired NCL and became head of its multi-manager team in April 2007.
Burns also runs private client portfolios and co-ordinates an investment trust recommended list for S&W’s private client department, alongside jointly heading its model portfolio service. ‘It always had to be investment management,’ says Burns when asked to think of an alternative career.
Gemma Bushby celebrated her 10th anniversary with Credit Suisse in 2013. Having joined as a graduate trainee after studying business and finance in Durham, she has risen up the ranks at the bank. She is now head of fund research in the Channel Islands and deputy chief investment officer on the local investment committee, working in Richard Warne's team.
Bushby welcomes the increasing use of model portfolios across the private client industry during the course of her career, saying it has aided efficiency and offers economies of scale. ‘I believe this is a good thing as it increases scalability, but it can cause problems when funds close.’ She adds that Credit Suisse has some luxury in being permitted a free rein to invest in funds regardless of size. ‘If we believe in the manager and the process, we have complete flexibility.’
The company maintains a 50-strong buy list within the Channel Islands, currently holding seven exchange-traded funds with the remainder in active mandates.
Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management
Kristian Cassar has a career in financial services that spans more than 14 years. In his current role he is responsible for fixed income fund research at Deutsche Bank’s Asset & Wealth Management division.
Cassar enjoys the title of vice-president at Deutsche and works across its global investment solutions and private wealth management divisions. Prior to joining the bank in 2010, he was a fund manager at BDO Investment Management for five years.
Before BDO, Cassar was an investment manager at HSBC for more than five years. During this period he gained the CFA, adding to his academic achievements, which include an MSc in international securities, investments and banking from the University of Reading.
Jupiter Asset Management
Under the watch of Jupiter chief investment officer John Chatfeild-Roberts, the Merlin fund of funds team has evolved into one of the most respected group of asset allocators in the business. It provides key input for Jupiter’s private client division’s fund research function, led by Oliver Pearson-Lund and Philip Gent.
An economics graduate from Durham, Chatfeild-Roberts served in the army before working at Henderson and Lazard. At the turn of the century he became one of Jupiter chief executive Edward Bonham Carter’s first signings after he took control of the business from founder John Duffield.
Chatfeild-Roberts was joined by Algy Smith-Maxwell and Peter Lawery, who both worked alongside him at Lazard.
Navin Chauhan believes it is important to do what you love. ‘During the course of the week you end up, on average, spending more time at work than you do with your family, so if you don’t enjoy it then life becomes very boring,’ he says.
Chauhan joined Quilter Cheviot in 2012 as a senior research analyst covering long-only equity funds, alternatives and passive investments. Previously, he was a fund analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and prior to that worked for Russell Investments and Deutsche Bank, where he began his career in financial services.
A lover of finding solutions to problems, any alternative career path would have to enable him to ‘think outside of the status quo, pushing the boundaries to find something new or make an impact by doing things in a different way’. Prior to his career in fund selection, he achieved an MSc in investment management from Cass Business School, alongside a degree in computer systems engineering from City University in London.
Having loved hit TV show The Sweeney as a teenager, David Coombs believes he was destined for a career in the police had he not decided to go into financial services. Another alternative to his current role as head of fund research at Rathbones could have been in corporate finance, he suggests, possibly in syndicated loans.
Coombs, who has been investing in funds for more than two decades, worked for Hambros Bank and Barings in Guernsey before moving to London with Barings in 2005. He joined Rathbones in 2007 and is currently head of multi-asset for the fund management business, as well as heading research for the firm’s private client arm.
Coombs says the best piece of advice he has been given is ‘to take responsibility for your own development’. He says it is difficult to pick out a stand-out investment from the course of his career but suggests Aberdeen Asia Pacific as featuring among the best.
Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management
The will to succeed and ride out the blows is at the heart of Ian Crispo’s career in finance. ‘Mistakes are part of life; try to learn from them and keep trying if you really believe in what you are doing,’ he cites as the best piece of advice he has received during his career.
Crispo joined Deutsche in 2005, armed with an MSc in finance and business from Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales in Paris. Prior to this, he worked as a management consultant at Sherborne Alliance and Arthur D Little. In his current role as global head of fund research, he also has input into the alternative and hedge fund divisions.
Crispo struggles to imagine any other profession he could have excelled in. ‘Being passionate about economics, financial products and dealing with people in my daily work, I would have ended up in the financial industry in any event.’