John ‘the Huss’ Husselbee is probably the wealth manager I have known longer than any other. He used to talk to me when I was a cub reporter and he was the head of multimanager at Henderson Global Investors years ago.
It’s a mark of the man that he always has time for people and when he came to set up his own business, North Investment Partnership, years of treating people well were repaid with support from clients and the firm has now gathered £450 million.
North does not deal directly with private clients but has built its entire business partnering with financial advisers. Husselbee focuses on personal service and a multi-asset investment process built around collectives.
Breakfast for us was a sausage sandwich each in a café near North’s offices on Leadenhall Street in the City. Things must be going well because North has just moved to much smarter digs.
As well as the usual banter about fund management types, John and I talked about how a small wealth manager can compete with the big boys to reach IFAs.
We agreed that personality goes a long way and John has that in buckets. But we also agreed that some marketing would be needed.
Both of us have a belief that actually going to meet people on their turf, wherever they are in the country, is a big part of success. Wealth Manager is out and about around the country each week and I have it on record that John is willing to put in the mileage himself too. Even maybe trekking up to some of the drinks receptions we are hosting for financial advisers and wealth managers in the regions this year.
Another great strength John has is that he is ambitious. He does not want North just to be the lifestyle business it most certainly could be. So he’s invested in bringing in some serious fund selectors to work alongside him and we think – watch this space – a top executive may be joining soon too.