Top 30 under 30: the 2013 class of new wealth management talent
Evangelos Assimakos, Rathbones
Assimakos studied Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics at Heriot-Watt University before joining the compliance department at Turcan Connell. After two years he moved internally and started his career in private client investment management, managing £40 million in assets, while focusing his research efforts on fixed interest and commodities.
Happily married with two children, in 2012 Assimakos was approached to join Rathbones’ Edinburgh branch. He took the opportunity and now works with a team of five managing a combined £500 million of pension and private client money. He has sole responsibility for the office’s strategic bond and commodity futures funds collectives research committee, which he cites as his greatest professional achievement to date.
For Assimakos, the song that best describes the current market climate is ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’, as range-bound markets ‘march investors to the top of the hill only to bring them back down again’.
Charlotte Baird, Berenberg
Baird’s career began at Deloitte following a degree in Business Management with European Studie at Exeter University.
Starting out on the graduate scheme, Baird went on to spend five years working in the private clients investment advisory business, and was responsible for over £100 million in assets.
She jumped ship to Berenberg Bank in 2011, taking up a role as an associate director at its young London office, which opened in early 2011. At Berenberg, Baird works to market the bank’s London office to intermediaries and manages client relationships.
Jim Barrett, Merrill Lynch
Barrett graduated with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University College Cork, but sensing his future lay elsewhere took a job with Goldman Sachs.
Starting out on the trading floor, Barrett learned the ropes quickly and two years later was promoted to the private wealth management division. He worked with a team that looked after $1.1 billion for entrepreneurs, families and charities until 2012 when he was appointed a vice president at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
Since then, he has focused on building out the firm’s charity offer and colleagues say he is an ‘integral’ part of their team. In his spare time he practises Thai boxing and counts his greatest personal achievement as surviving a month-long boxing camp in Thailand and returning home with all his teeth intact.
Joe Burns, Quilter
As a keen sportsman Burns represented the University of Aberdeen in both golf and squash while studying for a degree in Economics. While he describes this honour as his greatest achievement, he put his sporting ambitions aside to move into finance after graduation, starting out at Franklin Templeton Investments. Burns was put to work learning the ropes in investment management and passed the CFA exams as part of his graduate scheme training.
Although he found a niche in equity investing at Franklin, Burns was keen to work face-to-face with private clients and learn more about other asset classes. He was taken on as a trainee investment manager at Quilter in early 2011 and has not looked back.
Tasked with helping set up the national wealth manager’s first Scotland office – a challenge he says was a ‘strong incentive’ to join Quilter – he has helped the Edinburgh branch grow from strength to strength.
Burns says one of the best lessons he has learned in life is to always be well prepared, a motto he painfully learned after underestimating the amount of training needed to run the Edinburgh marathon. He says the Rolling Stones best sum up current market conditions with the song ‘You can’t always get what you want’.
Camilla Carson, Cheviot
After a degree in Politics at the University of Liverpool, Carson joined Cheviot Asset Management, where she specialised in hedge funds. She manages private client portfolios, and has a hand in the Cheviot Climate Assets and Libero Balanced fund. She is also committed to charitable giving in her spare time.
Carson is a trained opera singer who toured Italy and Spain every year as a teenager and highlights singing with the Welsh National Opera as among the highlights. She has chosen ‘Un bel di’ (which means ‘one fine day’ in English) from Puccin’s opera Madame Butterfly as the song that best describes the state of the global economy. That might be all we get in current market conditions considering the lack of decisive action by global policy makers,’ she said.
Jane Coghlan, Psigma
Returning to the top 30 under 30 after appearing in the inaugural one last year, is Psigma’s Jane Coghlan. She studied accounting and finance at Oxford Brookes university, graduating in 2006 before joining Psigma in 2007. Coghlan started out by assisting the investment managers and directors, but moved on to manage her own book of client portfolios.
She said raising over 26k for two charities by cycling from London to Paris over three days as her greatest personal achievement, describing it as a ‘fantastic and worthwhile experience’. If she had to name one song that best describes current market conditions it would be ‘Many rivers to cross’ by Jimmy Cliff.
Louis Coke, Charles Stanley
Coke joined Charles Stanley straight out of school after gaining A Levels in Law, Business Studies and Communications Studies. He passed a string of investment management qualifications while working as a dealer in the London office, and eight years later has risen to become an investment adviser at the Guildford branch. He builds relationships with intermediaries and manages private client investments during office hours, and spends his spare time attending British Touring Car Championships.
Coke says his greatest personal achievement is his involvement with a local charity, Round Table, which raises funds for worthwhile causes in Surrey. He is optimistic about market conditions and says The Beatles’ song ‘We can work it out’ best describes current climate.
Denise Collins, City Asset Management
After being grounded as a number crunching accountant, Collins took up an investment analyst post at City Asset Management in 2008. One of her proudest moments to date was making the move from analyst to investment manager, where she has developed a niche in income fund selection.
Irish born and bred Collins didn’t rely on handouts, paying her own way through City University, where she gained an MSc in International Business Economics, something she says is among her greatest achievements. Her song to sum up these times is Simply Red’s ‘Money’s Too Tight to Mention’.
Caroline Connell, Bestinvest
Connell has worked at Bestinvest for nearly eight years, joining the firm after completing a Mathematics and Economics degree at the University of Leeds.
She began her career as an investment adviser, and a year later moved internally to work on a new product offer, called the Funds Only Management. Although at first Connell was to be a co-manager, her colleague left the business and she stepped up to manage the accounts herself. Her assets under management grew to £73 million, and in 2010 she moved on the business development team at Bestinvest.
She now works to win new business and counts winning 150 new accounts as her greatest professional achievement. In her spare time she loves running and is proud to have two marathons under her belt. Connell says ‘Everybody Hurts’ by REM is the most fitting song of the moment.
Matt Conradi, Merrill Lynch
Following an Economics degree from Durham University, Conradi won a place on Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s graduate programme. After trying his hand in various parts of the business, he settled on discretionary portfolio management and four years later has his own book of clients covering pension funds, charities and entrepreneurs.
His team describe him as an ‘innovator’ and says he has played an important part in shaping the firm’s equity strategy. Conradi is a passionate Arsenal fan, likes to travel and thinks Diana Ross best describes current market conditions with her song ‘Upside Down’.
Thomas Coombes, Arbuthnot
Coombes graduated from the Bristol Business School with an Economics with Business degree in 2008. He has studied almost continuously since graduation, first passing his CFA exams and is now in the midst of a part-time master’s degree in Finance at the London School of Economics.
His first job was with Marathon Asset Management, where he carved out a niche in portfolio analytics, impressing the competition sufficiently to be recruited by Arbuthnot for its expansion plans. He says the recent performance of Arbuthnot’s UK equity and AIM portfolio has left him feeling very proud indeed. Coombes believes the song that best describes current market conditions is ‘Kung Foo Fighting’, as ‘it is a little bit frightening’ out there.
Nathan Delaney, Brooks Macdonald
Delaney’s career began on the Brooks Macdonald graduate scheme in 2006 after he achieved a first class degree in Economics and Finance from Loughborough University. Seven years on he has become one of London’s senior investment managers and oversees £350 million in assets, while also taking charge of hedge fund and alternatives research across the firm.
He cites starting family with his wife as among his greatest achievements in life. He also takes satisfaction from having seen his career ‘come full circle’ as he now has a hand in interviewing graduates hopeful to get a place on the Brooks’ scheme.
Delaney believes the song which best describes current market conditions is ‘Learn to Fly’ by the Foo Fighters.
Scott Farnetti, Brewins
Armed with a Masters degree in Finance from Newcastle University, and Bachelor’s in Economics, Farnetti set out in an investment career in 2006 with a job at Edinburgh’s Blue Planet Investment Management. Milan-born Farnetti was given the job of investment analyst covering Italian banks, Russia and Latin America as he became an expert in emerging markets. This earned him a job with Brewin Dolphin in 2007 as an investment manager.
His team focuses on corporate pension fund and charities alongside private clients, and over five years has grown to be one of the largest in the region. Farnetti was promoted to assistant director in 2010 and ever the optimist says the song that best describes market conditions is ‘High Hopes’ by Frank Sinatra.
Tracey Gray, Brooks Macdonald
Gray started her career as a trainee investment manager at Brooks Macdonald in 2007 following completion of a master’s degree in Chemistry from Imperial College. However, she counts qualifying as an investment manager with the CISI and IMC as her greatest academic achievement and is proud to be part of ‘an exceptional team’.
Beyond work, Gray says one her most impressive feat to day is completing the Three Peaks challenge and says she was ‘amazed’ she could push herself so far.
Christopher Grove, Credit Suisse
Grove always had an investment career in his sights as he interned with Credit Suisse while studying for an Economics degree. He was offered a job on the private banking side and began his career as an analyst in Credit Suisse’s entrepreneurs and corporate executive team.
Grove made the most of opportunities to work in Zurich, and upon his return to the UK had done well enough to become a private banker covering UK resident high net worths. He says he has built a ‘considerable’ client book and has helped develop the UK platform, which he believes is industry leading.
He thinks the Coldplay song ‘Viva La Vida’ is the best that describes the state of the world, as it highlights ‘those who have suffered a fall from grace and brought misery upon clients’ like Madoff and Stanford. Nevertheless he is positive the industry has changed ‘massively’ and has far more stable foundations for the future.
Peter Gyles, Vestra
Gyles’ career began at Citigroup in 2004 after a degree in Economics from the University of Leeds. He moved on to UBS in 2006 and made the jump to managing private client portfolios at Vestra Wealth in 2008.
Away from the office, Gyles is a dedicated runner and completed the London marathon. He says the Bob Dylan song ‘Times they are a-changing’ best sums up market conditions.
Paul Hill, Raymond James Investment Services
Hill studied Economics at the University of Liverpool before he was taken on as an investment manager at Rensburg Sheppards. He stayed with the business following its acquisition by Investec and rose through the ranks to become an associate investment director. Capitalising on his success, Hill joined Raymond James Investment Services and helped establish an office, an experience he counts as his greatest professional achievement.
He now works as branch principal looking after the investment needs of wealth families, business owners and professionals. Outside of the office loves football, golf and pilates.
Freddie Lait, Odey
Lait manages the Odey Atlas fund, as well as a number key segregated mandates at the renowned boutique. Prior to this, he worked at Rothschild Private Management as a portfolio manager. The Oxford alumnus started his career in financial services when he joined Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst after graduating with a Masters degree in Mathematics.
Matthew McInerney, Unigestion
McInerney left Durham University with a degree in Economics & Politics, starting his career in wealth management at Duncan Lawrie as a trainee investment manager. While at Duncan Lawrie he established himself within the equity research department and joined the asset allocation committee – while developing a client base of around £60 million.
In 2010, after spending five years at Duncan Lawrie, McInerney switched to Swiss wealth firm Unigestion. Working in their family investment office, McInerney currently manages the portfolios of several ultra-high net worth families and is part of the investment research team.
The event McInerney describes as his greatest personal achievement came incredibly early in his career, back in the summer of 2006 – the first stock he added to UK equity model at Duncan Lawrie was Intertek. At the time, shares were trading at around 650p. They’re now trading at around £30.00p and the firm is established in the FTSE100.
Tom Montague-Pollock, Schroders
Montague-Pollock has worked at Schroders since 2005 and risen through the ranks to become a client director. He joined the investment house following a degree in Business Management from Newcastle University and after two years was given a chance to work on the Schroder Charity Multi-Asset fund from its launch. He cites this as his greatest personal achievement, not least because the fund has grown from two seed clients to over 160, with £240 million in assets.
Montague-Pollock is a keen sportsman with a love of cricket, football and running. He has used his skills to complete a number of charity challenges over the years and successfully finished the London Marathon.
Jacky Ng, SG Hambros Private Banking
Aged 25 Ng became the youngest portfolio manager of SG’s private banking network in 2010. Today he is a lead manager on the bank’s absolute return strategy and a member of the equity committee, specialising in the global technology sector.
Ng’s career in the industry began in 2005 when he joined SG Hambros as an assistant to the discretionary portfolio management team, overseeing the operational and investment risks of all discretionary portfolios. He is a CFA charter holder and has a degree in economics from LSE.
The song which he believes best sums up current market conditions is ‘I will wait’ by Mumford and Sons.
Kevin O’Shea, Smith & Williamson
O’Shea studied business at the University of Durham before joining a graduate tax training scheme at BDO. After three years working as a tax adviser and gaining the relevant qualifcations, O’Shea entered the private client world by joining BDO Investment Management (now Broadstone). In the new role O’Shea passed his financial planning exams and attained the IMC.
In 2011 he joined Smith & Williamson’s financial planning team and has now achieved chartered status and a fellowship into the Personal Finance Society, all within three years of taking his first CII exam.
When not working or studying he enjoys marathon running, distance cycling and likes to either ski or dive on holidays, sometimes accidentally combining the two on the slopes.
Kate Palmer, Berry Asset Management
Palmer studied Accounting and Finance at the University of Manchester and spent a year on the operations side at Berry Asset Management as part of the company’s graduate scheme. She then moved over to the portfolio management team and was promoted to investment manager in 2009, also taking the lead in the firm’s structured product research.
Palmer is proud of her involvement with Berry’s retail distribution review (RDR) team, and separately has put together an internal training programme for continuing professional development.
Away from the office, she is passionate about cricket and is treasurer for a West London club, teaches scoring courses at Lord’s and is working to build a community for cricket officials in Middlesex. She has a positive outlook on today’s markets and says the song that best describes current conditions is Frank Sinatra’s ‘The best is yet to come’.
Chris Richards, Thurleigh Investment Managers
Richards worked as a business analyst at UBS Investment Bank after completing a degree in History and Politics at the University of Nottingham. He then moved into private client investment manager after joining Thurleigh Investment Managers in 2011 as a portfolio manager. He sits on the firm’s investment committee and has passed his CFA UK Level 4 Certificate of Investment Management.
Austen Robbilliard, Murdoch Asset Management
Robilliard graduated in 2005 with a degree in Economics and Finance and later joined Towry’s international division. He moved to Murdoch Asset Management to work on research and plays a key role in driving the firm’s investment process.
One of the highlights of his career has been to develop a computerised programme for model portfolios as this draws on the fact he likes ‘playing around with macros and spreadsheets’.
While his greatest personal achievement to date is becoming a father, developing an in-house risk model also represents the high point of his career.
‘I am very proud of this as it is far superior to other models that try and measure the risk of a collective and works for ETFs, hedge funds, investment trusts, Oeics & unit trusts and VCTs,’ he explained.
David Rose, Brooks Macdonald
Rose was a ski instructor in Canada before joining the Brooks Macdonald trainee investment manager graduate scheme in 2008, hoping his experience on the slopes would prepare him for volatile investment conditions.
The scheme enabled Rose to gain experience on the job while getting formal training, which has culminated in him now being level 6 qualified. Rose currently manages discretionary portfolios for Brooks Macdonald’s private clients, trusts and charities.
He feels fortunate to hold responsibility for researching hedge funds, alternatives and private equity as it gives him insights to the industry on a micro and macro level.
Running the London marathon while studying for his A-levels is Rose’s greatest personal achievement to date and he is a keen sportsman, playing Sunday league football and desperately trying to keep his golf handicap in single figures.
Harry Sevier, Ruffer
At just 25 Sevier had two years at Ruffer under his belt and was selected to work on the same team as then chief executive officer Jonathan Ruffer. He says this is his greatest professional achievement, alongside coming top in the country for his year in the CISI Financial Statements exam.
He now works as an investment manager at the company, looking after discretionary portfolios. In his personal life he is proud of winning multiple awards for art. He says the song that best describes current market conditions is Money for Nothing by Dire Straits, as recent years have been defined by central banks’ reliance on printing money.
Nick Travis, Smith & Williamson
Travis’s developed an interest in wealth management after completing an internship at Kleinwort Benson, and while he completed his Masters degree in Engineering he lined up a post at the bank’s graduate scheme.
He was later paired up with Kleinwort’s most senior private banker, and says his proudest achievement is hearing clients say they would like him to manage their money following the sale of their business.
Travis took up an investment manager post at Smith & Williamson and has worked on its ‘entrepreneurial minds’ programme, which aims to foster debate among the UK’s top entrepreneurs. A keen sportsman, Travis played rubgy to university level and has also cycled from London to Brighton.
For Travis, the song that best sums up the current market climate is ‘Helter Skelter’ by The Beatles, with a particular mention to the line ‘when I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide’.
James von Simson, Thurleigh
Von Simson studied economics and politics at Trinity College, Dublin, and moved into finance after taking a summer internship at Citigroup in Frankfurt, where he worked in the mergers and acquisitions team. After leaving university he spent a year working for the Conservative Party, which he now describes as a ‘misplaced idealistic period’.
He then moved back to finance, getting a job at M&A boutique Europa Partners as a senior associate. After three years there, he opted to leave the world of M&A behind, joining the wealth management industry. At Thurleigh he is responsible for offshore portfolios, sits on the investment committee and heads their online and social media presence.
Tom Wiseman, 7IM
Wiseman originally intended to qualify as a private client lawyer, after gaining a Law degree from the University of Sheffield and starting his career in a small provincial law firm advising on property, trusts and wills.
However, a burgeoning interest in investments saw him take up a role with Charles Stanley on its asset management graduate training scheme.
18 months later he moved to Seven Investment Management and by the time he was 25 he was managing private client money. Over the last three years, he has built a client book worth £100 million, including £60 million taken on during an especially successful 2011.
Away from his desk, Wiseman describes himself as a ‘long-suffering’ supporter of Southampton FC after pledging his allegiance in his youth when he played for its academy.