Wealth Manager Top 100 2017: the final 25 giants
Having already revealed the first 75 names in our guide to the leading fund buyers across the private client world, we reveal the final 25 names to make the cut.
All of the companies featured this year allocate over £1 billion apiece into collectives and we are able to provide unique insight into both the size and composition of their buy lists and how they have changed over the year.
There are 24 new faces in the Top 100, reflecting both consolidation and the emergence of young talent coming through the ranks.
Barclays Wealth & Investment Management
Make sure you do not mistakenly call this multi-manager fund analyst Peter as opposed to Stephen, as he confesses this is his biggest pet hate. On the investment side, Stephen Peters’ gripe is the conflation of luck when it comes to poor performance versus outperformance.
Peters joined Barclays in October 2016 from Charles Stanley, where he worked on the central research team, carrying out fund research and running funds of funds management, for nine years. He cut his teeth in the industry spending two years at an IFA, followed by four years as an investment consultant at Hewitt Associates.
In his current position, he analyses equities and alternatives funds within the UK and Europe. He is also the named portfolio manager for UK equity multi-manager funds and oversees the UK component of discretionary portfolios. He personally runs £1.9 billion in the UK multi-manager range.
Wellian Investment Solutions
Richard Philbin, chief investment officer at Wellian Investment Solutions, brings over 20 years’ experience to his role, having entered the industry in 1994. Philbin has a broad range of responsibilities besides fund research, sitting on the investment committee, managing private clients, having input into Wellian’s model portfolios and running several fund of funds portfolios.
Philbin has been implementing ESG and ethical considerations within his investment process, as he believes it is a logical step to ‘do good’. He also notes that automation is increasingly becoming a part of the process as it reduces the risk created by ‘fat fingers’, and aligns interests and portfolios more appropriately.
Wellian currently pays an average annual management charge of 0.75% for active equity funds, and 0.4% for active bond funds. Philbin does not believe this represents value for money though, and expects charges to fall due to regulatory pressure, as well as Wellian’s increasing bargaining power.
Head of portfolio management for Julius Baer in the UK, Edward Raymond has an almost 700-strong buy list to work with and manages around £5.1 billion in client assets.
‘Over the last 12 months, we have further enriched our offering by adding alternative Ucits funds. On the other side, some of the recommendations were downgraded due to manager changes or soft/hard-closing,’ he said.
Raymond started his career in 1994 at HSBC Global Asset Management, before moving on to head Merrill Lynch Portfolio Managers’ UK team.
Due to his wide remit, he tends to invest across both the larger fund houses, such as BlackRock, JPMorgan or Franklin Templeton, but he also singles out Magellanes, Principal and Polar Capital as boutique names he backs.
Delyth Richards took on the role of head of investment solutions at Kleinwort Hambros, renamed as such following the merger between Société Générale Private Bank and Kleinwort Benson, in January 2016.
Previously she was head of fund research at Kleinwort Benson, initially joining the firm in 2007 as head of real estate advisory.
In her current role, she is responsible for the management of the firm’s multi-asset funds, as well as the oversight of the bank’s product governance process. She sits on the firm’s investment policy, collective investment selection and investment oversight committees. In addition, she is also a member of the bank’s operating and new product committees.
Prior to Kleinwort, she worked as a structured finance specialist at Citibank. After graduating with first class honours from the University of Durham, where she studied geography, she completed a masters in property law and valuation at Cass Business School.
With a global outlook, overseeing a broad range of asset types, Caspar Rock holds a significant position as the chief investment officer at Cazenove Capital. He joined the business in September 2016, having previously held the same role at Architas Multi Manager. Part of the investment committee, he brings almost 30 years’ investment experience to the role, and plays a part in developing model portfolios.
Reflecting on 2017 so far, Rock believes his best investment call has been to hedge currency risk in Cazenove’s US fixed income exposure in January 2017, close to the peak of the dollar rally.
In the past 12 months, Rock reports a degree of consolidation in his buy list, but does not indicate preference for any particular fund house. Instead, he prefers to spread investment across a range of boutiques.
Cazenove currently handles £43.6 billion in assets under management across the firm.
Steven Rooke joined Cazenove Capital in 2005 from State Street Bank, beginning his tenure in the private client department before moving to the discretionary fund management team that works exclusively with IFAs. Rooke now holds the role of portfolio manager, analysing equities and investment vehicles, including actively managed unitised funds and investment trusts.
Rooke also manages Cazenove’s model portfolio service, having established the models which were launched in July 2016. At the start of the third quarter of 2017, Cazenove launched a further five active and passive models. He is also a member of the UK, US and global equity asset class committees.
Taking a look back at this year’s investment decisions, Rooke is pleased with the call to increase weighting to Asia and emerging markets following the US election. He also reflects positively on the idea to buy the TR Property investment trust when Cazenove launched its MPS models, a week after the EU referendum.
After 20 years of experience in investment management, Michael Rosenthal has worked his way up the career ladder and was recently appointed chief investment officer at Signia Wealth. Previously head of hedge fund investments at the firm, he joined Signia in 2013 from Amundi Alternative Asset Management, the hedge fund subsidiary jointly created by Société Générale and Crédit Agricole.
Prior to joining Signia, Rosenthal spent 11 years at Amundi, where he was global co-head of investment and head of the firm’s London office. During this time, hedge fund assets under management grew from $1.2 billion (£930 million) to $28 billion (£21.7 billion). Before joining Amundi, Rosenthal was a portfolio manager for five years at JP Morgan Investment Management, where he managed Asian equity portfolios and a Japan long/short equity hedge fund.
David Saab, JP Morgan’s global head of fixed income and absolute return funds, which includes overseeing 40 vehicles, joined the firm in 2011.
Before JP Morgan, where he is also a managing director, he worked as a portfolio manager at Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild.
While there, he headed Edmond de Rothschild’s fixed income and absolute return fund research, in addition to running its broader multi-manager team and developing the firm’s expertise in high yield, leveraged loans and emerging market debt.
Saab was also a member of the investment committee at Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild Europe, where he built tailored asset allocation solutions for high net worth clients.
In some ways Saab is back where he started, given he began his career at JP Morgan, working on its Masterswap desk. Saab holds a masters degree in finance from Audencia Nantes Business School.
Elizabeth Savage is head of research at Rathbones. When she joined the firm in 2005, it was initially to undertake independent research into funds of hedge funds and structured products. She previously worked at Progressive Alternative Investments, a fund of hedge funds, as a graduate trainee and subsequently became a hedge fund analyst.
Promoted to head of research in 2014, Savage is responsible for overseeing the research function and recommendations made by the investment committees. She is a member of Rathbones’ investment executive committee. She has also co-managed the Rathbone Multi-Asset Portfolio range with head of multi-asset investments David Coombs and assistant fund manager and senior research analyst Mona Shah.
Savage graduated from Newcastle University with a BA in geography in 2001 and holds the chartered alternative investment analyst designation.
Melissa Scaramellini has spent the majority of her career at Quilter Cheviot after joining the firm in October 2006, following five years at Schroder Investment Management. Her role at Quilter Cheviot is to scout out ‘best of breed’ collective investments to be held in client portfolios, as well as carrying out due diligence on funds in which the firm has invested.
Scaramellini chairs the firm’s alternatives committee, where they decide which funds to hold in the alternatives basket in client portfolios. She is also a member of the investment funds committee and contributes to the discussion around model fund holdings. The assets under advice of the fund research team stand at £13.2 billion, while the firm manages £22.5 billion of client assets in total.
With a doctorate in biochemistry, Ben Seager-Scott started his career, perhaps unsurprisingly, researching biotechnology equities. Now chief investment strategist at Tilney, his remit has expanded to include analysing bonds, alternatives, mixed assets, property and commodities around the world.
Having a broad outlook suits Seager-Scott well, who says his biggest investment gripe is short-termism and the focus on trades in isolation rather than as part of a wider strategy. He works across the Tilney Group developing and implementing the house investment strategy, including passive beta strategies. Overweighting European equities, adding to emerging market equities and underweighting the US this year has paid off, he adds.
A CFA charterholder, Seager-Scott joined Bestinvest in 2011 as a senior fund analyst from Bristol-based Whitechurch Securities. He is a member of the asset allocation, fund selection and stock selection committees.
Head of collectives research at Rathbones, Mona Shah joined the firm 10 years ago after graduating from the University of Bristol. She has a decade of experience in manager selection across long-only, hedge funds, ETFs and structured products.
In her role, she is responsible for fund selection and due diligence across a range of the firm’s long-only and alternative investment strategies. When seeding funds, Shah says she looks for those with ‘an edge’ and ideally a ‘relevant track record somewhere to refer to’ as well as other operational factors.
Shah sits on Rathbones’ collectives research and strategic asset allocation committees, which pluck out ‘best of breed’ funds to be held in client portfolios, and also assists the Rathbone Multi-Asset Portfolios team with their collectives’ investments.
Seven Investment Management
Peter Sleep is an industry stalwart, and has been at Seven Investment Management for 10 years. In that time he has doubtless developed plenty of industry gripes, but the one that tops the list is asset management companies not being open about their fund charges. On a personal front, he also wags a finger at cyclists on pavements.
The portfolio manager is an advocate of seeding funds, saying: ‘We have always seeded’. He also outlines that the firm seeks a ‘market niche that the fund will cover, compliance with regulations, tax status, ability of fund to grow, track record, and risk and reward’.
Tobam is the boutique fund house that features most on the firm’s buy list, which has not changed hugely over the past year apart from some additions, mainly in alternatives credit.
Sleep is a qualified chartered accountant and has also worked at Citigroup and Man Group.
Thomas Miller Investment
Presentation is key and when a fund manager’s presentation has no key performance information, Jordan Sriharan gets suspicious. ‘It instantly makes me think they are hiding something,’ he says.
As head of fund research at Thomas Miller Investment, Sriharan does like the managers running funds at Hermes, a stalwart on the firm’s buy list. He cites Citywire + rated Ariel Bezalel, who runs the Jupiter Strategic Bond fund, as a hidden gem.
While many expect annual management fees to lower over time, Sriharan believes they will stay the same overall, as he says the alpha delivered by Thomas Miller Investment’s active managers is clear and quantifiable.
Sriharan began his career at Fidelity before moving to the Wellcome Trust. After a stint at Mercer, he moved to Thomas Miller Investment in 2014 following the acquisition of Broadstone. He has been a CFA charterholder since 2011.
Close Brothers Asset Management
Matthew Stanesby is now in his 10th year at Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM), where he is head of the manager research team, responsible for both selecting and monitoring third party managers. He is also a portfolio manager on the company’s Managed range of multi-asset funds and sits on CBAM’s investment committee.
After graduating with a first in mathematics and engineering from the University of Nottingham, he started out in actuarial and investment consulting roles at Mercer and Aon’s life insurance, pensions and investment teams.
Now a seasoned investment manager, he personally runs £600 million of assets and oversees CBAM’s buy list of 280 funds, half of which are actively managed funds.
When selecting a fund, he aims to identify managers with a proven philosophy and process and in terms of his best investment call this year, he says: ‘Remaining overweight to equity in the face of fully valued markets.’
Investec Wealth & Investment
Andrew Summers, now head of collectives and fund research, has been at Investec Wealth & Investment for 10 years. He first joined its private bank as a product analyst in 2007 and was then promoted to global head of product and research. Following the acquisitions of Rensburg Sheppards and Williams de Broë, he took on his current role. Prior to Investec, he spent 10 years at Goldman Sachs in various roles.
Overseeing £15 billion in assets, Summers’ best investment call this year has been going long European equities versus US equities.
Generally, he does not feel he is getting good value for money with current fund charges, but he expects annual management charges for active funds to fall in the future due to regulatory and market pressures.
His hidden gem is fund manager Jack Barrett who runs the Man GLG UK Absolute Value Strategy and co-manages its Undervalued Asset Strategy.
Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management
Patrick Thomas joined Canaccord Genuity as an emerging markets analyst, shortly before becoming a portfolio manager in 2013. He is personally responsible for £600 million of the firm’s £15.3 billion assets under management and sits on its investment committee, alongside his private client responsibilities.
He is the lead manager for Canaccord Genuity’s onshore model portfolio service. Alongside this, Thomas has recently launched an ethical portfolio strategy, a move particularly fitting as ESG considerations are increasingly becoming part of the company’s investment process. All of its equity fund exposure is via managers who either explicitly or implicitly integrate ESG factors into their investment process. Thomas says: ‘We do this because empirically we can prove it works and our clients like it.’
Thomas previously worked at Collins Stewart, following a year in Paris working for the UN after studying philosophy and economics at Edinburgh University.
Standard Life Investments
Katie Trowsdale is a fund manager at Standard Life Investments (SLI) which is merging with Aberdeen. In her role she gets under the lid of actively managed equity funds, covering the UK and Europe.
She says her best investment call this year was investing in European small caps and her hidden gem is the Invesco Perpetual European Income fund.
Working on the firm’s MyFolio team under Bambos Hambi, Trowsdale has helped seed funds. She looks for a pre-existing track record of an active fund manager or a strategy that the team is unable to access elsewhere, naming short duration credit as an example.
Trowsdale’s career started at Heartwood Wealth in 2000, before joining Kleinwort Benson in 2007 as a private client portfolio manager and deputy fund of funds manager. She then moved to Gartmore’s multi-manager team and joined SLI in 2011.
Deutsche Bank Wealth Management
Fixed income specialist Vanshree Verma has been with Deutsche Bank since 2010. She has over 10 years of research experience in her field and in her current role as vice president in the global investment group, she leads global ETF selection and conducts due diligence on fixed income funds.
The firm’s buy list has a total of 1,184 funds, with ETFs most heavily featured with 824 products. She comments: ‘The buy list has incorporated a more solutions-oriented approach, whereby we have added funds that satisfy certain themes or investment targets.’
She also highlights that ESG criteria are rapidly becoming a part of the investment process at Deutsche Bank, as ‘investors are increasingly driven by social and environmental concerns, and therefore managers are increasingly incorporating such factors in their investment process’. The bank has added more ESG conscious and impact-oriented funds to its platform to satisfy this demand.
Gary Waite is a portfolio manager at Walker Crips, managing over £100 million of the firm’s £5 billion of assets under management. Walker Crips’ buy list is currently skewed towards actively managed unitised funds, with half of its AUM allocated to such products.
Walker Crips has recently added the Jupiter Absolute Return fund to the buy list, and Waite points to the Natixis H20 Multi-return fund as one that has exceeded expectations. Even so, it is Neptune whose funds feature most prominently at the firm. Waite adds that ESG criteria are important, stating that it makes economic and financial sense to back sustainable companies.
Waite is adamant that fund management companies need to embrace automation and invest in systems and technical personnel. He is confident that those who do not will be left behind. On a more light-hearted note, he says that his biggest pet peeve is up-selling at coffee shops.
Richard Warne is a veteran of Swiss giant Credit Suisse, where he has worked as a senior portfolio manager for 17 years, running its discretionary mutual funds business.
With £5 billion of assets under management personally, he wields significant influence and will ‘very selectively’ seed funds to help them get off the ground. He says they ‘need to be a “standout” fund with potential to grow and also the fees need to reflect the goodwill we are showing’.
Overall, he feels actively managed funds offer value for money, saying: ‘We are paying the right price for the respective alpha.’ However, he admits that with some funds he is ‘less convinced’.
Warne says his best investment call this year was backing the Morgan Stanley US Large Cap Growth fund and he highlights the GVQ UK Opportunities fund, managed by Citywire A-rated Jamie Seaton, as a hidden gem.
Standard Life Investments
Matthew Webber’s first job in investment management was within private client stockbroking, before specialising as an investment research analyst at Old Broad Street Research. From here he spent a year at Mazars Financial Planning, managing and selecting funds for its model portfolio service (MPS). His next move was to Co-operative Asset Management where he ran fund of funds before becoming funds and research manager at Standard Life Investments. His current role involves co-managing the firm’s MPS.
The boutique fund houses that appear most on the firm’s buy list are TwentyFour Asset Management and Morant Wright. Webber also names Alex Saviddes of JO Hambro Capital Management as his hidden gem fund manager.
In a year where the world has been getting to grips with Donald Trump in power, Webber, who covers the US, says his best investment call has been focusing on ‘the distinction between Trump’s rhetoric and his ability to actually implement policy change’.
HSBC Private Bank
Eckhard Weidner was promoted to his current role as head of fund selection at HSBC Private Bank back in 2016. He is part of the fund strategy group at the private bank and leads the fund selection process globally. He chairs the fund selection committees, while also focusing on researching, selecting and advising on long-only funds.
He joined HSBC in 2007 as a multi-manager analyst and portfolio manager. In that role he was responsible for research in global emerging markets equities and managed the HISF MultiAlpha Global Emerging Markets Equity fund. During his first three years at the firm, he also managed an Islamic multi-manager fund, investing in the Gulf region. Prior to HSBC, he worked at start-up Telos in Germany as its chief analyst. He has a PhD in mathematics from Universität Trier and an MSc in operational research from the University of Southampton.
Coutts director Monique Wong joined the private bank in 2012 and is responsible for the management of UK-based private client portfolios, as well contributing to the global investment strategy across the major asset classes.
She spent 13 years working for UBS’s global family office division and in fixed income, after graduating with a masters in economics at UCL and before that a degree in mathematics from Boston University.
After UBS, Wong initially joined Coutts’ active advisory team as a strategic investment adviser, where she was tasked with identifying and monitoring investment opportunities for high net worth and family office clients.
Wong says backing emerging market debt was her best investment call of the year, but cites performance fees as her biggest investment gripe, while people ‘mispronouncing her name’ is her major personal pet peeve.
At Quilter Cheviot, Nick Wood heads the investment fund research team which has responsibility across both the discretionary firm and parent company Old Mutual’s multi-asset team.
An economics graduate with a masters in Russian and Eastern European studies, Wood spent the first 10 years of his career at Capital Group, working as a quantitative analyst within the investment team and then another five at the funds research team of investment consultancy Stamford Associates.
Wood's team has responsibility for £13.2 billion of the firm’s £22.5 billion in assets under management. His buy list has more than 300 names spread across a variety of both passive and active products. What he dislikes most is blaming any underperformance on a fund’s particular style bias, but claiming any outperformance is due to manager skill.