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Top 100: the brightest stars of wealth management - N-W

In the final part of our series on the UK’s top 100 wealth managers, we cover the 25 individuals whose surnames fall between the letters N and W and who between them have 605 years’ industry experience. 

In the final part of our series on the UK’s top 100 wealth managers we cover the 25 individuals whose surnames fall between the letters N and W

With a combined experience of 605 years, this group has learnt some tough lessons, which has helped them form strong backbones. ‘Adversity makes you strong’ one manager says when asked what the best lesson he has learnt is, while another says: ‘Crisis management provides the strongest lessons on personal strengths and maintaining one’s long term convictions.’

These wealth managers come from a diverse background. One served in the Sultan of Oman’s navy before embarking on a career in wealth management, while another is a qualified pilot who has also competed in Britain’s Offshore Powerboat Race.

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Mike Neumann

Bestinvest

Number of years in industry: 24

Mike Neumann, an investment director at Bestinvest, started his career trading bonds in the wholesale market in 1987, but it was his decision to leave the industry to do an MBA at Cranfield School of Business in 1995 that changed the direction his career took.

After completing his MBA he met John Spiers, the founder of Bestinvest, and in 2003 the business launched its discretionary managed service, which now manages around £1.3 billion.

Neumann took a sabbatical in 2007, during which time he acquired a pilot’s licence and competed in the Round Britain Offshore Powerboat Race. He rejoined Bestinvest at the end of 2008.

Unsurprisingly, when asked to name the most inspirational figure of his career, Neumann cites Spiers, as an entrepreneur who is determined to provide clients with access to the very best investments.

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Deryck Noble-Nesbitt

Close Brothers Asset Management

Number of years in industry: 12

Deryck Noble-Nesbitt joined Close in 2006 and works as managing director of investments and smaller companies, alongside running his own top-performing fund.

He has recently been tasked with launching a discretionary fund management service for the firm.

Noble-Nesbitt graduated with a biological anthropology degree from Cambridge University, but made the switch into accountancy and qualified with Deloitte and Touche. He worked for the firm in London and New York over the following six years, but made the move into investment management in 2001 with a position at Govett Investments.

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Michael O’Sullivan

Credit Suisse

Number of years in industry: 18

If Michael O’Sullivan had not opted for a career in wealth management, he would have probably made a career as a university lecturer. He was educated first at University College Cork, Ireland, where he graduated in commerce and finance. Going on to study at Balliol College, Oxford, he obtained MPhil and BPhil degrees as a Rhodes Scholar, which help to finance teaching roles at Oxford and Princeton.

Prior to joining Credit Suisse in July 2007, where he now heads portfolio strategy and thematic research, he spent around 13 years as a global strategist at a number of sell-side institutions, including State Street Global Markets.

Best lesson learnt during career:

Try to combine good ideas with clear communication.

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Algernon Percy

JO Hambro Investment Management

Number of years in industry: 21

As a tender 21-year-old, a chance encounter with David Chaplin, one of JO Hambro Investment Management’s (Johim) founders, had a lasting impact on Algernon Percy’s career.

‘[The meeting] was around 20 years ago, when I had a temporary job delivering desk diaries around the City,’ Percy, a former Wealth Manager cover star, recalls. ‘I used to drive my old maroon Audi Quattro around the City and I started applying for jobs through the various graduate training programmes.’

Percy was shortlisted for a junior post at the firm but was eventually turned down. However, Chaplin told to him apply for jobs with other investment houses and to stay in touch. Percy followed his advice, which led to a nine-year spell at Mercury Asset Management and then Merrill Lynch Investment Management before he finally ended up at Johim in 2003. Six years later, he was appointed head of private clients.

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Gary Powell

Rothschild

Number of years in industry: 18

Gary Powell qualified as a solicitor at top firm Linklaters before making the jump into investment management. He joined Rothschild as an investment banker in 1994, climbing the ranks to become director of the financial institutions group.

He then made the move to the wealth management division, and spent six years as head of UK wealth management. He later became head of strategy and corporate development for the Rothschild Group and has been instrumental in pushing growth in the business and boosting top-tier staff count.

He holds a degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University and an MA in philosophy from Kings College London, which he achieved during a sabbatical in 2004.

If he hadn’t entered the world of investment, he would have liked to have been a philosophy don.

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Rosamunde Price

Seven Investment Management

Number of years in industry: 33

Rosamunde Price, chief investment officer of Seven Investment Management, has spent more than three decades working for a list of prominent investment houses, including Citibank Private Bank, where she developed an asset allocation strategy based on individual clients’ risk/return profiles.

Prior to this she took responsibility for institutional portfolios and pension funds, including the Civil Aviation Authority Pension Fund (CAVIAPEN), and for European portfolios at GFM International Investors Ltd, the international asset arm of US insurer Metropolitan Life.

Price, who has an MSc in business studies from the London Business School, cites Einstein and the power of compound of interest, closely followed by Newtonian mechanics, as the two biggest influences and sources of inspiration of her career.

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Mark Rayward

Veritas Asset Management

Number of years in industry: 27

Mark Rayward cut his teeth as a trainee stockbroker at Vivian Grey in 1985. He joined Newton Investment Management a year later, where he trained as an investment analyst.

During his 23 years at Newton, he was an investment director in the private client division, head of charities and private clients between 2002 and 2009. Latterly, he enjoyed the role of deputy CEO between 2007 and 2009.

Rayward joined Veritas Asset Management in 2010 as head of UK private clients, where he has played a key role in contributing to the firm’s investment process and driving asset growth. He notes if he had not ended up in wealth management, he would spend the time sailing.

Best lesson learnt during career:

‘It is never wrong to take a profit.’

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Eddy Reynolds

Standard Life Wealth

Number of years in industry: 21

Chief investment officer Eddy Reynolds was hired from Lloyds Private Bank in 2010 as part of Standard Life Wealth’s aggressive wealth management growth plans.

Edinburgh-based Reynolds graduated in mathematics from Manchester University and has over 21 years’ investment experience. His career kicked off at Aegon Asset Management in 1991 as US equity analyst and fund manager.

In 2001, he joined Scottish Widows Investment Partnership as a product development director before becoming head of investments at Lloyds in 2007.

Away from the office, he enjoys skiing, climbing hills and playing golf.

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Delyth Richards

Kleinwort Benson

Number of years in industry: 21

Delyth Richards counts a degree in geography from the University of Durham alongside an MA in property law & valuation from Cass Business School among her academic achievements.

She has spent the past three years driving fund selection across all asset classes, including equity funds, commodity funds, private equity funds, hedge funds and alternatives, at Kleinwort Benson.

Prior to this, Richards was head of real estate advisory at the bank. She also enjoyed spells at Citibank, where she was a structured finance specialist.

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Anthony Rosenfelder

Veritas Asset Management

Number of years in industry: 26

Anthony Rosenfelder co-founded Veritas Asset Management in 1993, utilising decades of experience in the investment industry, including a stint setting up an in-house bank for an oil trading company. Rosenfelder has worked as a director at Rothschild Bank and cites his greatest influence as George Warburg, who gave him sound advice when he worked in corporate finance. He also values the Rothschild family’s ethos towards private client fund management.

Rosenfelder holds an economics degree from the London School of Economics, as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School, and if he hadn’t ended up in investment management would have liked to have been a private client lawyer.

The best lesson learnt during career:

‘Crisis management provides the strongest lessons on personal strengths and maintaining one’s long-term convictions.’

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David Rowe

UBS Wealth Management

Number of years in industry: 26

When David Rowe, a managing director at UBS, is asked who has most influenced him over the course of his career within the financial services industry, he immediately cites numerous colleagues that have worked alongside him in various roles.

He states that the quality of these individuals, particularly their honesty, integrity and the devotion that they have applied to their trade on behalf of clients, workmates, and the investment houses that employed them, was – and continues to be – a tremendous source of inspiration for him.

Rowe, who currently resides in Surrey and graduated with a degree in Economics from Exeter University, started his career in the City as a trainee with Schroders back in the mid-1980s before making the decision to move to UBS in 2002.

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Gayle Schumacher

Coutts & Co

Number of years in industry: 29

US-born Gayle Schumacher studied economics at Stanford University, California, and can also claim a masters in Latin American Studies from the University of London.

She began her career as an oil analyst at Wood Mackenzie and subsequently worked at Robert Fleming and Gartmore as an institutional pension fund manager. She joined Coutts in 2000 and was appointed head of the investment office in October last year, having previously held the position of global co-CIO.

If she hadn’t gone into the world of investment, she can see herself as an academic.

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John Scott

WH Ireland

Number of years in industry: 45

WH Ireland’s head of private clients John Scott started his career in stockbroking in the City in 1967 and enjoyed a stint at Grieveson Grant before returning home to Manchester to join Charlton Seal Dimmock and later Birmingham’s Albert E Sharp, which became Barclays Wealth.

A former Wealth Manager cover star, Scott is clear on what has been the key to survival for businesses such as WH Ireland in an age when supposedly size has conquered all.

‘It’s the very fact that they can provide a personal service. Not everybody wants to be looked after by an organisation that’s large and faceless. They [clients] do appreciate the personal contact and that’s where we need to have our niche.’

Scott attended Urmston Grammar before heading down to London to study for a degree in economics.

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Richard Scott & Daniel Lockyer

Hawksmoor Investment Management

Number of years in industry: 25&20

Daniel Lockyer joined Hawksmoor in 2009 and works alongside Richard Scott and Ben Conway managing a range of top-decile funds. His investment career includes a period spent as a money market and foreign exchange dealer at Abbey Life Investment Services, and he was a founding member or iimia in 2002.

Richard Scott started out a graduate trainee at Smith New Court Investment Services, following a history degree at Exeter University. Via a series of moves, he developed a specialism in US equities at Hambros Bank, worked on investment trusts at Exeter Investment Group and later joined Hawksmoor.

Scott cites John Templeton as the most inspirational figure in his investment career, since he is a man who managed to combine Christian values with a lasting legacy as one of the best investors of his day, and always believed in cultivating humility.

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Jonathan Seal

Investec Wealth & Investment

Number of years in industry: 25

Jonathan Seal is a figurehead in the Liverpool wealth management community. He entered the financial services world in 1988 at Rensburg and has remained at the firm through its many transitions, including its recent acquisition by Investec.

As head of the firm’s Liverpool operation, Seal runs money for a combination of high net worth individuals, pension funds and charities. He also sits on the firm’s management and business development committees.

Outside of work, Seal is a keen golfer and a member of the Royal Birkdale championship club. Having studied at the Britannia Royal Naval College, he went on to serve in the Royal Navy and the Sultan of Oman’s navy – doubtless the reason his heart is close to the charity Help for Heroes. He cites the professional commitment and sacrifice made by the UK’s servicemen and women as ‘truly inspiring’.

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Richard Spencer

Brooks Macdonald Asset Management

Number of years in industry: 27

Richard Spencer was part of the founding team that set up wealth firm Brooks Macdonald in 1991. Spencer, who says he would have been an accountant if he was not plying his trade in wealth management, serves as chief investment officer.

After gaining a degree in economics and politics from Hull University, he started his career at FPS Management in 1985 before switching to Pall Mall Money Management, where he managed portfolios for private clients before he set up Brooks.

His role involves ensuring the firm has a ‘robust’ investment process, especially important following its sharp jump in assets since its flotation in 2005. Spencer says the best lesson he has learnt in his career came in 1987, when the market crash gave him a valuable insight into how clients react in different ways.

Most inspirational figure:

‘Chris Macdonald, who I have worked with for 27 years. I learnt from him the importance of a consistent balanced approach and ensuring you have good people around you.’

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Peter Thomson

Taylor Young Investment Management

Number of years in industry: 25

Peter Thomson, Taylor Young’s CEO and CIO, started his career working for the senior partner of Vivian Gray/Gerrard Vivian Gray after graduating with a degree in mathematics and statistics from London University.

After 18 years under the ever-changing monikers of the Gerrard Vivian Gray investment management and stockbroking group, he left Gerrard in 2004 to join Taylor Young Investment Management, and was appointed CEO in 2006.

Alongside running the business, he continues to manage portfolios for individuals, trusts, charities and pensions and has sought to establish what he calls ‘a family office for smaller end high net worth individuals’ with backing from Athens-based money manager Alpha Trust.

Most inspirational figure:

Thomson cites Roger Pincham, Tony Skailes, Stephen Cooke – all colleagues during the early years of his career – as key influences, alongside Warren Buffett’s investment style and Michael Porter’s analytical skills.

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Nick Tucker

UBS Wealth Management

Number of years in industry: 26

During his wealth management career, Nick Tucker has worked for two of the biggest names in the business. He spent over 10 years in various roles, which saw him take up posts in London, Monte Carlo, Dubai and Sydney for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, before settling as head of the bank’s UK and Irish wealth business.

In July 2010, he quit the bank in order to spend more time with his family. A few months later he was offered a role with Merrill Lynch’s rival UBS, where he accepted the post of head of UK domestic.

Tucker was educated at Wellington College, before gaining a politics degree from Exeter University.

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Caroline Tye

Newton

Number of years in industry: 17

Newton’s head of private clients Caroline Tye graduated with a 2:1 in economics from Emmanuel College in Cambridge and also counts the CFA, ACA and IIMR among the qualifications she has under her belt.

After training as a chartered accountant at Ernst & Young, specialising in financial services, she left the world of accountancy for investment, joining Newton in 1998 as a trainee fund manager in the private client team.

In 2004, she was appointed lead manager of the Newton Bridge and Balanced Bridge funds and took over from Simon Pryke as head of private clients for the business in January of this year.

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Eric Verleyen

Société Générale Private Banking Hambros (SGPB Hambros)

Number of years in industry: 14

SGPB Hambros’ group chief investment officer Eric Verleyen owes some of his success to one of the world’s legendary investors. ‘Warren Buffett was key in developing my way to assess an investment. Then I had to combine his approach with behavioural finance in order to understand better the most suited investment for private client.’

This technique has been honed over a 14-year career, which saw French-born Verleyen enjoy spells at KBL Luxembourg, where he headed a team of portfolio managers, and Sakura Bank Luxembourg. He joined Société Générale in 2005 as head of discretionary management for private banking in Luxembourg, before he was named CIO in 2009.

Verleyen was educated at the Institut d’Administration et de Gestion, of Louvain in Belgium and is currently responsible for £2.5 billion at SG Hambros. He says he would ‘coach people’ if he were not a wealth manager.

Best lesson learnt during career:

‘Adversity makes you strong.’

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Juliet Wedderburn

Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management

Number of years in industry: 25

As head of Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management’s London operation, Juliet Wedderburn has worked to grow the private bank’s presence in the South of England, following a career that has included roles at a range of institutions.

She previously worked at Bankers Trust and JP Morgan Chase, and first joined Deutsche in 1996 to work as managing director of global markets.

Wedderburn left the organisation in 2004 to chair a mental health charity and work as partner at a hedge fund, but returned to Deutsche in 2007 and has worked solidly on developing the wealth management offering ever since.

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Tim Wood

McInroy & Wood

Number of years in industry: 16

Tim Wood has a special relationship with his father, so close the latter trusted him enough to appoint him chief executive of the wealth management firm he set up in 1986.

McInroy & Wood was formed in 1986 in Haddington, East Lothian, by two members of the same family, Alan McInroy and Victor Wood, who left an Edinburgh fund manager to set up the venture. Over the last 25 years, the firm has held its ground admirably in the Scottish wealth management battlefield, with Wood junior overseeing a team of seven investment professionals.

Wood joined his father’s firm in 2000 after graduating with a masters in mechanical engineering from Bristol University in 1996. He started out as an analyst at the London Stock Exchange, where he gained a wide experience of primary and secondary markets in the UK and overseas. He became a CFA charterholder in 2003, and has developed a specialist interest in the smaller company sector.

Standout fact:

In the three years to the end of August, Woods’ McInroy & Wood Smaller Companies fund was the eighth best performing fund in its 128-strong peer group, with a return of 44.2%.

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Tony Wood

Standard Bank Jersey

Number of years in industry: 26

When it comes to thinking outside of the box, Standard Bank Jersey relies heavily on Tony Wood. In his role of head of investment strategy at the group, Wood manages the Alternatives Strategies fund, where he combines his understanding of the specific technical factors across a range of different investment strategies to drive returns.

He is also head of the bank’s fund management team, for which he edits the quarterly Investment Review and Outlook.

An economics and politics graduate from the University of West England, Wood specialised in international bond and currency markets before moving into general asset management.

He joined Standard Chartered in 1991, and is a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Company Secretaries.

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Jim Wood-Smith

Investec Wealth & Investment

Number of years in industry: 26

Warren Buffett and Eric Idle – the two most inspirational figures in Jim Wood-Smith’s career – could not be more different. ‘Everyone working in the wealth management industry should be tested on the works of Buffett rather than modern portfolio theory and should be able to speak Python for more than 15 minutes uninterrupted,’ he says.

Having spent his entire career in wealth management, Wood-Smith probably has a little more in common with Buffet than Idle. After graduating in politics from Hull University, he learnt the ropes at Barclays Trust Company in the 1980s before spells at Gerrard and Greig Middleton. He joined Christows in 2005, which acquired Williams de Broe the following year. The firm was acquired by Investec Wealth & Investment, where Wood-Smith serves as chief investment strategist.

Best lesson learnt during career:

Most of us are human.

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Christopher Wyllie

Iveagh

Number of years in industry: 24

Christopher Wyllie has plenty of responsibility serving as chief investment officer at Iveagh, the Guinness family office. In this role he manages around £200 million in assets, which includes the flagship Iveagh Wealth fund.

Wyllie, a history graduate from Cambridge, has worked for some of the top names in the business. His career started out in banking at Brown Shipley in 1988. Four years later he moved into fund management with F&C, where he was responsible for UK equity funds. In 1997 he joined Schroders Investment Management and was in charge of some £2.1 billion in fund assets as head of the UK equity strategy. He took a similar role at Merrill Lynch Investment Management before moving into private wealth management with JP Morgan Private Bank in 2005. A year later he joined Iveagh as a partner.

Most inspirational figure:

The late Jim Cox, who was head of equities at Schroders, of whom Wyllie says: ‘Although one of the most talented managers of his generation, he wore it lightly, and was a nice man. His style was understated, conscientious yet determined – he could soak up pressure, something a contrarian investors has to be able to do.’

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