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Wealth Manager top 100: the full list of powerful names in fund selection

For those of you who missed any of our five-part series this week we bring you, in alphabetical order, the complete list of the top 100 most influential people in private client fund selection.

Jamie Arguello

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.

Jamie Arguello

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

Credit Suisse

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’.

Thomas Becket

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’.

Jonathan Bell

Stanhope Capital

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.

John Bellamy

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.

Henriette Bergh

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

Charles Stanley

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.

Oliver Blackbourn

Vestra Wealth

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.

Martin Blank

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.

Kirsten Boldarin

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. Boldarin 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.

Alex Brandreth

Brown Shipley

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


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

Charles Stanley

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.

James Burns

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

Credit Suisse

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.

Kristian Cassar

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.

John Chatfeild-Roberts

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

Quilter Cheviot

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.

David Coombs


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.

Ian Crispo

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.’

Christopher Darbyshire

Seven Investment Management

If Christopher Darbyshire hadn’t opted for a career in financial services, he could have ended up working in sociological research ‘because I’m frustrated by economics, which is not able to learn from the other social sciences’.

A graduate of Oxford University, where he studied English language and literature, he joined Seven IM in 2012, having spent eight years working in derivatives, primarily at Goldman Sachs. His career also includes seven years at BNP Paribas, where he headed the media sector equity research team, and a similar period in the US media industry as chief financial officer of Viacom’s transport advertising division.

Staying true to the advice ‘always read the notes to the accounts before you read the accounts’, Darbyshire says the best fund he has invested in is any tracker – ‘they all do the job required of them’ – while Tobam, the smart beta manager, is his tip for the future.

Dr Robert Dawkins


Towry chief investment officer Robert Dawkins has held a series of senior positions in private client and fund management companies throughout the course of his career. He joined Towry in 2010 from Aberdeen, where he worked as head of multi-manager.

Prior to this, he was managing director of RBS Asset Management and head of alternative investments at Coutts, having received his doctorate in mathematics from Exeter University.

Dawkins is responsible for managing and developing the investment process at Towry and has overall responsibility for the management of clients’ portfolios.

In April 2013, the company had almost £5 billion in assets under management, the vast majority held in third-party funds.

Etienne de Merlis

Signia Wealth

Signia Wealth’s head of portfolio construction Etienne de Merlis highlights the THEAM Guru fund as the best he has ever invested in. The company has around 40 funds on its buy list, with half in exchange traded funds and the rest in open-ended funds. The list is very prescriptive for individual managers at the company.

Prior to joining Signia Wealth, de Merlis spent 11 years at JP Morgan Private Bank as a portfolio manager for ultra-high net worth individuals, covering clients based in Europe and the Middle East.

The portfolio construction head also spent seven years as a derivatives marketer to French and Benelux financial institutions at Citibank in both Paris and London.

Timothy Dowdeswell

Stonehage Investment Partners

‘Stay hungry, stay foolish’ is the best advice that Timothy Dowdeswell has received during his career. Possibly having more focus on the former and less on the latter has resulted in him rising rapidly through the ranks in his fund selection career.

After graduating in history from Cambridge, Dowdeswell had a variety of roles before he settled at Stonehage, where he has spent the last three and a half years as an investment analyst. His career includes a spell at Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management, working as a relationship manager at a multi-family office in Neuchatel and one year as a project manager for a start-up company.

Dowdeswell is fascinated by the emerging market debt story and says he would have been an analyst in the sector had he not gone into wealth management. ‘[I] love the element of macro and valuation,’ he says.

Graham Duce

Aberdeen Asset Management (manages assets on behalf of Coutts)

‘Never be complacent’ is Graham Duce’s motto and it’s one that’s served him well in a career spanning over 25 years. Duce is now manager of the Equator Investment Programme and Equator Investment fund ranges at Coutts, amounting to £7 billion.

The University of Essex graduate, who studied economics and politics, believes he would have ended up in fund sales if he hadn’t forged a career for himself in fund selection, joking ‘I’d have a better golf handicap!’.

Duce joined Aberdeen in 2009 following its acquisition of Credit Suisse Asset Management. He cites Findlay Park American as the best fund he has ever invested in and highlights Chris Reid at Majedie as a potential star of the future.

Having the flexibility to invest in up and coming fund managers is important for Duce, who explains ‘investing in smaller and newer funds has long been a source of alpha for the Aberdeen Asset Management multi-manager team and we continue to find some excellent opportunities off the beaten path’.

James Ellis

Société Générale Private Banking

James Ellis has enjoyed the role of global head of Société Générale Private Banking fund research since 2002. His team’s research feeds through to a number of entities, including SG Private Banking Hambros.

Ellis’s division was merged with another research team in 2011 and renamed Société Générale Private Banking Fund Solutions. It now also incorporates hedge funds and private equity within its area of responsibility.

Ellis was formerly group business development director at SG Hambros Bank Limited from 2004 until 2006, and has also taken on the roles of group chief investment officer and head of product development for SG Hambros during his time at the bank.

He started his career in 1978 after co-founding a business that provided advice to wealthy family-owned companies. The firm was sold in 1996 and Ellis relocated to Guernsey, where he joined the board of Hambros Bank Guernsey in 1997.

Ramon Eyck

Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Ramon Eyck leads external manager selection and research from the firm’s London office, with a particular focus on UK, European, Asian and Japanese long-only equity managers.

Eyck has over 12 years’ of asset management experience across fund manager research and ratings and multi-manager portfolio management in the UK, Australia and Asia. He joined the company in 2011 from Skandia Investment Group, where he was head of equities.

Prior to this, Eyck was a co-founder of the managed fund ratings business at Standard & Poor’s in Australia and a member of the senior team responsible for the development of the investment research and rating process.

By the time of his departure, he was head of Australian equity research at S&P.

Edward Fane

Thesis Asset Management

The finely tuned fund selection process Edward Fane has strummed in his eight years in the industry fits well with his other dream job, an acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter.

‘It (a music career) would have provided the blend of the qualitative and the quantitative, the rational and intuitive, and the opportunity to observe and react to global events with a range of focus from macro through to micro. And the fame,’ he says.

Fane is well known in the investment world of Guildford, where he co-manages Thesis’s fund of funds range and is responsible for the firm’s model portfolio service, including its passive investment approach.

A graduate in philosophy from Warwick University, passion and commitment to the cause are his keys to success. ‘Faithfully bring yourself to what you do and you will be most effective,’ he advises.

Ahmet Feridun

Fleming Family & Partners Asset Management

Had Ahmet Feridun not opted for financial services he envisages himself on the tennis court challenging the likes of Andy Murray at Wimbledon.

‘I enjoy the competitive nature of the sport and believe that you are always better at things you are passionate about, which I have been with tennis since an early age,’ he explains.

Having worked at Pictet Asset Management in its emerging markets equities team, Feridun joined Fleming Family & Partners Asset Management (FF&P) as an investment analyst in September 2007, with a particular focus on selecting equities and funds.

During his career he has researched and selected investments across a wide range of asset classes, including fixed income and private equity. The best advice he has been given is to look were the crowd isn’t and ‘always be wary of taking unnecessary risk’.

Feridun highlights the ‘very pleasing’ performance of the FF&P European All Cap fund since JO Hambro Capital Management and Robbie Wouters assumed control in 2008.

Milica Fomicov

Barclays (wealth & investment)

Milica Fomicov joined Barclays in 2011, and covers US and Japanese equities fund research for the wealth & investment division.

Formica was formerly a senior associate with Alliance Bernstein in the US designing investment portfolios for high net worth clients, where she also worked on asset allocation and forecasting models.

Milica received an MBA in Finance, Economics, Econometrics and Statistics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Had she not worked in asset management, Fomicov believes she would have entered academia. ‘I would have been a university professor, teaching international economics. I love conducting research in this discipline, and the ability to teach and influence students would be very rewarding.’

Within her work, Fomicov says that asset managers need to do more to recognise their limitations. ‘Alpha potential becomes muted after a significant growth in assets under management, and we are very restricted to only investing in large strategies with a standard approach, we do not have that limitation with segregated multi-manager mandates,’ she says.

Guy Foster

Brewin Dolphin

Guy Foster, Brewin Dolphin’s head of portfolio strategy, anticipates that active bond funds could see their total expense ratios fall to 20-40 basis points, while equity funds could come down to 50-65 basis points in the near future.

While some fund selectors are restricted by the size or minimum track records of the funds they invest in, Foster is keen to stress that Brewin Dolphin will continue to support start-up and smaller funds if they believe the fund manager has the ability and there is a compelling investment case.

The best lesson he has picked up during his career is ‘don’t believe everything you are told – in this age of big data you can usually check’.

Foster’s team produces the fund-based models for the group’s platform-based managed funds service and he provides recommendations on tactical investment strategy.

Asked to entertain the possibility of an alternative career, he notes: ‘I enjoy investing and talking about investing so whether it was investment management, lecturing or journalism, I would still feel privileged to work within this industry.’

Stuart Fox

Lord North Street

When Stuart Fox was at university he considered opening a restaurant with a friend on graduation. ‘We thought it would be a pretty interesting thing to do and we love eating’ being the rationale. However, they changed their minds after working in a few establishments and doing their research – ‘we realised how hard a lifestyle it is and how unlikely you are to succeed’.

Fox, who studied English at Cambridge University, joined City Asset Management as a graduate in 2007 and worked there for five years covering UK equity fund selection, alternatives and structured products. He moved to Lord North Street in 2013 as an analyst covering emerging market equity and debt, hedge fund selection and contributing to asset allocation.

Fox, who rates A-rated Neil Veitch as a future prospect, says the best advice he’s received is that ‘clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society’.

Philip Gent

Jupiter Private Clients & Charities

A passion for working on the land could have taken Philip Gent into the world of farming, but instead he chose to join the world of financial services.

Unlike many working in the industry, Gent shunned university to join Coutts & Co as a 16-year-old school leaver. It was here he took his professional exams before forging a career as an equity analyst and portfolio manager for private clients. In the late 1990s, he moved to Invesco Private Portfolio Management, which was subsequently acquired by Singer & Friedlander.

Gent then joined Jupiter in 2009 and says the advice that has stayed with him down the years is to ‘do your best for your clients and they will do their best for you’.

He is a member of the CISI, an associate of the Society of Investment Professionals and a member of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute.

Mick Gilligan

Killik & Co

Armed with a degree from Lancaster University in psychology and organisational behaviour, Gilligan has both the skills and experience to grill fund managers on their investment thinking.

While he is reluctant to name the manager whose performance has stood up to this interrogation, he names the Axa Framlington UK Select Opportunities as featuring among his best ever investment picks. ‘Run by Nigel Thomas, [the fund] has been a great investment for lots of our clients. We were day one investors in 2002 and remain so. It is up circa 270% with the UK market up around half that,’ he says.

Gilligan has spent over a decade at Killik & Co, having joined the firm in 2001 after serving as a senior investment professional at the John Lamb Partnership, an advisory firm catering for high net worth investors.

Kristof Gleich

JP Morgan Private Bank

Kristof Gleich is the international head of manager selection at JP Morgan Private Bank, with additional responsibility for its thematic alpha programme. This is run out of London and aims to offer clients the opportunity to tap thematic market opportunities.

Prior to joining JP Morgan Private Bank, Gleich spent eight years at Goldman Sachs, four of which were in asset management, where he was responsible for the selection of European equity managers. He also worked as a portfolio manager in AXA’s third party fund management group.

Gleich graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in physics and is a CFA charterholder.

Ben Gutteridge

Brewin Dolphin

Ben Gutteridge has spent 10 years at Brewin Dolphin, having joined from Barclays in 2003, and has headed fund selection for the company since 2010.

He is also responsible for alternative investment selection, sits on the asset allocation committee, and is a member of the Securities & Investment Institute and a CFA charterholder.

A mathematics graduate from the University of Loughborough, if Gutteridge had not entered the world of fund research he might have been a professional golfer.

He highlights First State Global Emerging Market Leaders as the best fund he has ever backed, and views Jupiter’s James Clunie as the next rising star.

Gutteridge anticipates that actively managed equity funds could see total expense rations come down to 50-65 basis points, while active fixed interest could fall to 20-40bps.

The team operates a recommended list of 90 actively managed funds, 30 plus exchange traded funds, 50 plus investment trusts and nearly 20 structured products that are classed as ‘buys’ or ‘researched’.

Bambos Hambi

Standard Life Investments

Bambos Hambi’s success would have been far harder to come by had it not been for the culinary skills of a good woman. ‘Make sure you marry someone who can cook and put your head down and work hard,’ are among the best bits of advice he has ever been given.

A graduate in mathematics from Queen Elizabeth College, London University, Hambi is a well known name in fund selection.

He started out in Legal & General’s actuarial department before moving to Quilter & Co. He went on to head multi-manager teams at Friends Ivory & Syme, Rothschild Asset Management and Gartmore before joining Standard Life Investments in March 2011 to head its fund of funds proposition.

He is responsible for overseeing the firm’s MyFolio funds range and has input into Standard Life Wealth’s process.

Mark Harries

Lloyds Private Banking

Mark Harries is head of multi-manager at Lloyds Banking Group. The bank leverages off its asset management subsidiary Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, where Harries runs multi-manager funds. His team advises on over £8 billion of assets for the bank, driving investment philosophy, asset allocation, fund selection and the monitoring of underlying investments.

If Harries hadn’t chosen this career path, he would have considered commercial property management as he has a ‘general interest in buildings, from the architecture to development and the whole issue of tenant management’.

The best advice he has received has been to take a long-term view rather than trying to time the markets; be aware of capital preservation; and accept that experience counts.

The Fidelity Special Situations fund, under the stewardship of Anthony Bolton, remains his best investment, while he tips manager James Clunie of Jupiter as a future star.

Victoria Hasler

Brewin Dolphin

Victoria Hasler has driven Brewin Dolphin’s fixed income, property and infrastructure fund research since she joined the national wealth manager in 2010 from Rothschild Private Management, where she worked as a fixed income portfolio manager.

Hasler covers both open and closed-ended mandates, and highlights the Invesco Perpetual Global Financial Capital fund as the best fund she has ever invested in. Ben Hayward of TwentyFour Asset Management features among her picks in the rising star category.

Her career began as a fixed income analyst at Merrill Lynch, having gained a degree in economics with French from Durham University. She also holds the Investment Management Certificate and is a CFA charterholder.

She cites the wise words of Sir John Maynard Keynes that ‘the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent’ as being particularly useful.

James Hedley


Had Rathbones’ James Hedley not made it as a fund selector, he would have liked to have taken a stab at managing Britain’s historic landscapes.

Hedley graduated with a history degree from East Anglia University, and then decided to take a different tack after completing a masters in forestry from the University of Wales.

Forestry’s loss ended up being investment management’s gain. He started in financial services at Neilson Cobbold, beginning a career that now spans over 20 years. He is a founder and senior member of Rathbones collectives research committee, with a specialism in Asia, emerging markets and commodities. Of all the funds he has invested in over the years, he describes Jason Pidcock’s Newton Asian Income fund as his top pick.

‘The client comes first’ is the best piece of advice he has received during his career.

Marc Hendriks


Marc Hendriks is responsible for the performance of SandAire’s investment activities and enjoys the chairman role at the Wigmore Association, a global collaboration of seven family office partners.

He has amassed a wealth of experience during his career, which includes the CIO role at Thomas Miller, where he spent over five years managing asset allocation and investment strategies for a range of clients.

Prior to this, he spent 17 years as chief economist at Société Générale, Swiss Bank Corporation and Baring Brothers.

During the course of his career, he has consistently been elected to the Conference of Business Economics to discuss developments in the international economy.

Charles Hepworth


Golf and Formula One racing may seem like opposite ends of the spectrum but a career in either would have suited sports fan Charles Hepworth, had he not opted for financial services.

A biotechnology graduate of Leeds University, GAM’s managed portfolio service head worked as an assistant fund manager at Albert E Sharp in the early 1990s before an 18-year spell at Quilter, where he was executive director and head of the managed portfolio service.

He joined GAM in 2012 as an investment director and head of its managed portfolio service, where he has total flexibility when it comes to where to invest. ‘We prefer to invest where others aren’t or haven’t discovered,’ he notes.

Hepworth cites Odey’s James Hanbury as a star of the future. Among the best advice that was given to him during his career, is this: ‘Don’t make enemies on the way up – you’ll never know when you will meet them on the way down.’

Alan Higgins

Coutts & Co

In his wildest dreams, Coutts’ chief investment officer Alan Higgins would be trying to discover the next Andy Murray rather than the next fund manager star.

‘If my standard of tennis was better (I would be) a professional tennis coach instead of my current too low first level at the PTA,’ he says.

Like tennis, investment management can prove to be a rollercoaster and Higgins says the best piece of advice he received was from Morgan Stanley Wealth chief investment officer Simon Brewer, who told him: ‘[It’s] not easy but look to take the emotion out of investing’.

A graduate in mathematics from Bristol, Higgins spent almost 20 years on the institutional buy side on bonds and convertibles before moving into wealth in 2005 at Morgan Stanley, prior to Coutts.

Caroline Hitch

HSBC Global Asset Management

Although she forged a career in fund selection, Caroline Hitch was once drawn to architecture. ‘The satisfaction of combining utility and aesthetics into excellent design; I think there are parallels with portfolio construction,’ she explains.

Hitch, who graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in economics, has spent most of her career at HSBC. She has worked in the Channel Islands and Hong Kong, as well as being extensively involved with the firm’s investment teams in Europe and North America.

After a number of years being involved in various areas – including around a decade managing specialist fixed interest portfolios for central banks and other institutional clients – she helped to launch and manage HSBC’s flagship World Selection funds.

So what advice does she believe has been the most useful in her career? ‘If you possibly can, do something you enjoy.’

Paul Hookway

Kleinwort Benson

Paul Hookway has always agreed with the maxim that it’s dangerous to start believing your own PR as this can lead to overconfidence.

This, he says, is never a clever move in finance. ‘Always accept that you are fallible; no-one is perfect,’ he says. It is advice that has served him well in the 26 years he has worked at Kleinwort Benson.

Starting out in the back office, he progressed to become a full-time fund analyst in 2005. A graduate of Birmingham University, where he studied chemical engineering, Hookway expects he would have become a private banker had he not ended up in fund selection.

He names the Cazenove UK Opportunities fund as his best investment and suggests AA-rated Alex Breese of Schroders is a manager to watch. ‘His fund is now large enough to attract the interest of a wider range of investors. His performance so far has been very good,’ he notes.

Gareth Howlett

Brooks Macdonald

‘Never do business with someone who cheats at golf’ is the best piece of advice Brooks Macdonald investment director Howlett has received during his career.

A graduate in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford, he lists being an honest and decent golfer as part of the varied skill-set that helps him meet the rigours of his job. Alongside growing the Edinburgh office, his role includes sitting on Brooks’s investment committee, which oversees fund research.

‘At various points in my early life, if things had worked out differently, I could have been an actor, a barrister, or an academic. These careers reflect a taste for analysis and argument, which are handy for a fund selector,’ he says.

Howlett’s investment career started with Baillie Gifford in 1985, where he spent 15 years as a fund manager. He then had spells at Stewart Ivory and Adam & Co before joining Brooks Macdonald.

Robert Jeffree

C Hoare & Co

A life in the fast lane behind the wheel of a Formula One racing car could have been an alternative career for Robert Jeffree.

However, his career path has led him to venerable bank C Hoare & Co. He joined in 2009 to head its research team and third party fund selection function for discretionary portfolios.

Jeffree started out as a European equity fund manager at HSBC Asset Management and spent six years in McKinsey’s European Asset management operations, consulting on strategic matters for asset management and private banking clients across Europe.

Also previously at New Star, he ran Asian equity funds, amassing 18 years’ investment experience under his belt.

The best advice he ever had is to go in with a plan. ‘Have a hypothesis as to what you think the answer is, then go and test it,’ he says. ‘Be prepared to revise your views and continue the research in another direction.’

Sam Jeffries

Sarasin & Partners

For Sam Jeffries, Sarasin & Partners’ private client and fund of funds head, nothing quite beats a tough day in the office.

‘There is no substitute for hard work. The more thorough the analysis, the more likely it is you will make a good decision,’ he says.

A graduate in mathematics and statistics from Sussex University, Jeffries’ love of numbers led him to a vocation in finance, a field he is passionate about.

‘[If I weren’t a fund selector] I would have ended up in financial planning. I have always had a key interest in finance and have always thought how useful it would be to have been taught it as part of the school curriculum,’ he says.

Jeffries, who names colleagues Oliver Tucker and Lucy Walker as rising stars in the industry, joined Sarasin in 2007. His career started in 1994 at Brewin Dolphin, where he spent seven years before joining Barings.

Stacey Johnson

Investec Wealth & Investment

When Stacey Johnson was deciding on a university course she was torn between business or science, which could have taken her career on a very different course. ‘Seeing as I love plants and flowers, I would have probably become a botanist,’ she explains.

After graduating from Durham University with a masters in European politics and economics, Johnson worked at a European political advocacy group before joining Investec Wealth & Investment in 2005.

The Franklin Templeton UK Mid Cap fund is the best fund she has invested in to date, noting: ‘Paul Spencer has done an excellent job in the mid cap space.’

She also rates Steve Cordell of Cazenove.

As far as her own career is concerned, ‘a colleague drummed into me the point of thinking of things from different perspectives and that the obvious answer isn’t always the right one’.

Chady Jouni

Barclays (wealth & investment)

Chady Jouni joined Barclays as a discretionary manager in 2010 and later became a part of the company’s multi-manager group, focusing on European and emerging market equities.

He began his career as a fund analyst at institutional advisory business Bfinance, having studied electrical engineering at France’s L’école nationale supérieure d’électricité et de mécanique (Ensem) in Nancy. He has also worked in Barings’ multi-asset team.

Had he not entered finance, Jouni says he would have liked to have been a football coach, which he believes has some overlap with the skills required as a multi-manager. ‘It requires both technical and interpersonal skills,’ he points out.

He says asset managers need to work harder to keep investors in the loop and be more willing to recognise fund asset limitations.

‘[We need] better communication and to be more precise on assets under management targets. Soft closures should occur when the strategies have some more room for capacity, not when liquidity starts to be an issue.’

Aidan Kearney

Aberdeen Asset Management (manages assets on behalf of Coutts)

Aidan Kearney, co-head of the multi-manager team at Aberdeen, makes it into the Top 100 on the basis of the £7 billion in fund of funds assets his team runs for private bank Coutts through its Equator funds.

He has impressive experience, having started his career at Allied Irish Investment Managers, where he managed charity and private client portfolios. Since then he plied his trade at the likes of Credit Suisse Asset Management, Artemis and Singer & Friedlander. Kearney joined Aberdeen in 2009 following the acquisition of Credit Suisse Asset Management.

Over the years, the best advice he has received is ‘never go into a battle with a journalist, they buy more ink than you’.

He cites JOHCM UK Growth, managed by AA-rated Mark Costar, as the best fund he’s ever invested in and suggests Guy Rushton of the L&G UK Absolute Return fund as one to watch.

Meena Lakshmanan

Vestra Wealth

A career in academia carrying out research would have been the most likely route for Meena Lakshmanan had she not ended up in her current role. A graduate of the University of Cambridge, where she studied mathematics, she says the best advice she has been given is to ‘cut losses, which can be a very difficult thing to do, and understand the trade-off between risk and return’.

Lakshmanan is a partner and co-head of investment solutions at Vestra, as well as a key member of the investment committee with responsibility for establishing the hedge fund advisory service. Previously, she worked at Russell Investment Group as a member of the hedge fund and European equity team, working on quantitative analysis, risk management and portfolio construction. She also worked as a fund manager for GLG Partners and as an asset allocator at Atlas Capital.

Mark Lane


Bestinvest’s senior research analyst Mark Lane says the GLG Japan CoreAlpha fund is one that has served the firm particularly well over the past nine months. Perhaps more satisfying, he says, is the fact Bestinvest held its nerve during 2012 when the index fell.

In addition, BlackRock European Dynamic and Threadneedle European Select also boosted performance during 2011 and 2012.

As far as tipping future stars, Lane suggests AA-rated Alex Breese, who joined Schroders during the summer.

The best piece of advice the analyst has received during his career - and one he follows closely - is that ‘fund manager sells are more instructive than buys’.

Lane, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, joined the firm on the day Lehmans filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2008. He now covers European, UK Income, Japan and commodities funds, as well as structured products.

Jonathan Lau

Brooks Macdonald

Jonathan Lau has been head of research at Brooks Macdonald Asset Management for the past six years, and sits on the firm’s asset allocation committee.

He works closely with the company’s chief investment officer, Richard Spencer, and investment committee. This group of senior investment professionals oversees the investment process, fund selection and research systems, alongside monitoring portfolios from a return and volatility perspective.

Lau previously held positions in Deutsche Bank’s corporate finance team and the PAL Partnership, part of the IFG Group, where he worked for its investment management business, running pension funds on an advisory basis.

He graduated from Cambridge University with a 2.1 in economics and is also a CFA charterholder with over 11 years’ experience in collective investments across all asset classes.

Anthony Lawler


Anthony Lawler is a portfolio manager and investment committee member in GAM’s alternative investments solutions team and can boast a vast career spanning different firms and roles.

Prior to joining GAM in November 2011, he spent eight years at Man Group, working in London and Chicago, latterly as head of portfolio management. He led a global team covering all of Man Investments’ multi-manager mandates.

Before this, Lawler was head of hedge fund research at Man Glenwood, the US alternative investment fund of funds, and he also enjoyed a spell as an equity research analyst at Prudential Securities.

His career began as an M&A analyst at Merrill Lynch in San Francisco. He holds an MBA in finance and economics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a BS (highest honours) in finance from the University of Illinois.

Anthony Leatham

Investec Wealth & Investment

As a dab hand in the kitchen, Anthony Leatham would have entertained the idea of running his own coastal restaurant. ‘Having had a keen interest in cooking from an early age, the idea of producing dishes for others to enjoy seemed very appealing,’ he says.

However, financial services ended up catching his eye.

Latham is now responsible for fund selection and due diligence at Investec Wealth & Investment (IW&I).

His career started in 2000 at Deloitte & Touche in London, where he was a consultant to the financial services sector, specialising in advisory services to asset managers and investment banking.

He then joined Investec Bank as compliance officer in 2005 before moving to IW&I’s fund research team in 2007. He oversees a buy list that spans 330 funds, with 57% in open-ended funds and 43% in investment trusts.

He highlights the original Nevsky and Findlay Park American funds as two of the best he has backed.

Gareth Lewis


Gareth Lewis’s career started with a bang - the Big Bang. After graduating from Keele in international politics and law he joined Williams de Broë in 1986, the year that saw the deregulation of the stock market. It opened up a whole host of new opportunities for investment managers.

In 1998 Lewis joined Singer & Friedlander, where he spent five years before switching to UBS. In 2011 he moved to Bestinvest as chief investment officer and head of investment management.

Lewis, who says he would have been an architectural historian if he had not forged a career in this industry, names Citywire AA-rated Nigel Thomas’s Axa Framlington UK Select Opportunities as the best fund he has ever invested in, and picks AAA-rated Fidelity’s Alex Wright as the industry’s next star.

Eric Louw

Standard Life Wealth

Eric Louw gave up a rural life in South Africa for the hustle and bustle of the world of finance.

‘I grew up on a fruit farm in the beautiful Cape winelands. If I hadn’t chosen a career in finance, there’s a good chance I would have been a fruit farmer, or involved in the wine industry,’ he says.

Louw readied himself for the financial world with a degree in financial accounting from Stellenbosch University, which he followed up with a postgraduate qualification in financial analysis and portfolio management from Cape Town University.

After stints at UBS and ABN Amro, he joined Standard Life in September 2007, where he leads the firm’s managed portfolio service.

‘Learn from your mistakes and try to learn something new every day,’ is the best advice he has received, though he adds: ‘That’s not to say make a mistake every day to learn from!’

Peter Lowe

Smith & Williamson Investment Management

Having worked in France and Sweden, Peter Lowe began looking after private clients at Smith & Williamson in 1995, and currently manages a broad range of portfolios aimed principally at clients who are seeking a lower-risk investment approach.

Lowe also has responsibility for fund research, and stresses that the firm has a reasonable amount of flexibility to back up-and-coming funds, but is unlikely to support anything too small. He also sits on a number of internal committees overseeing strategy, risk and asset allocation.

A graduate of the University of Surrey, where he studied economics and French with Swedish, his clients include private individuals, companies, pension funds and trusts both on and offshore. He is a member of the CISI.

Nick Marshall

Smith & Williamson Investment Management

Nick Marshall joined Smith & Williamson in June 2005 and is a member of the firm’s multi-manager team, co-managing the Smith & Williamson MM Endurance Balanced fund.

He covers emerging markets fund research, so it is perhaps no coincidence that he cites the Aberdeen Emerging Markets fund as the best he has ever backed.

‘For solid long-term performance, a robust unwavering investment process and a highly skilled team it is quite hard to beat,’ he says.

Prior to Smith & Williamson, Marshall worked at Iveagh Trustees. He graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2003 with a Masters in international financial analysis. He is a chartered member of the CISI.

Alex Marshall-Tate

Citi Private Bank

Citi Private Bank’s senior research analyst Alex Marshall-Tate would have liked to have worked in the music industry if he hadn’t ended up in fund research, noting the attraction of going to free concerts.

In the investment arena, he joined Citigroup as a vice president in July 2006, researching third-party traditional funds for private bankers and other professionals at the bank.

He cites Nevsky Emerging Markets Equity as the best fund he has recommended, and notes Citi Private Bank’s 90-strong recommended list is 100% open-ended.

Prior to joining Citi, he spent five years at Morgan Stanley, initially as a manager research analyst, latterly as a portfolio manager in the bank’s private wealth discretionary multi-manager team.

A graduate of the University of Southampton, he holds a degree in business and management, and a masters in corporate risk and risk management.

Robin McDonald


The fund research carried out by Robin McDonald and Marcus Brookes feeds through to Cazenove’s private client division, which is in the process of being integrated with Schroders Private Banking.

McDonald co-manages Cazenove’s multi-manager fund range alongside Brookes, which includes the Cazenove Multi-Manager Diversity fund, a key pick in the Citywire Selection buy list. He is also Citywire AA-rated.

McDonald joined Cazenove in 2007 from Gartmore and formerly worked at Insight Investment, following its acquisition of Rothschild Asset Management in 2003.

He names Basil Collins, his grandfather, as an inspiration during his career and says if he had not ended up in the world of investment he would have liked to have been a football manager.

He is a CFA charterholder and has a career that spans more than 14 years.

James McGuire

UBS Wealth Management

History is such a passion for James McGuire that he would have considered teaching the subject as an alternative career. In 2010, the history graduate wrote a book on Australia that explored the modern birth of the country and its convict heritage.

After Portsmouth University, McGuire began his career in 1984 as a trainee fund manager, specialising in funds of funds.

The subsequent 29 years have seen him take on various roles, including working as a portfolio specialist in the US. In the past decade, he has undertaken fund research at UBS Wealth Management in London.

Since 2009, he has headed the firm’s IPS IM manager research and selection function in the UK and Jersey, which is underpinned by a 270-strong long-only fund list, of which about 50 are ETFs. Within this the bank has a core list of 30 funds, reflecting the CIO’s views.

He cites the Hermes US SMID team as ones to watch.

Reshma Moloo

Citi Private Bank

Reshma Moloo is a vice-president responsible for manager research in Europe, Middle East and Asia at Citi Private Bank.

Moloo has been at the private bank for more than three years and boasts a varied experience in financial services.

Prior to joining Citi, she was a senior investment analyst at ING for more than six years. Before this she worked in Australia as a technical analyst at Frank Russell and also had a spell as a fund accountant at Bankers Trust Australia.

She graduated from Macquarie University in Sydney with a masters in applied finance, economics and investments.

Simon Moore


‘Careers in City firms can be short lived’ is one of the most memorable snippets of wisdom Simon Moore has received.

If he had not gone into fund selection, his dream alternative career, drawing on the knowledge he attained while studying biochemistry at Imperial College, is not short on ambition. ‘[I would have liked to have been] in medical research to find a cure to all the world’s known diseases,’ he says.

Moore chose to help investors instead, joining Bestinvest as a senior analyst in 2004 with a specialisation in investment trusts, where he leads an eight-strong investment team. He has more than 17 years’ experience, which he amassed working at historic names Teather & Greenwood, Williams de Broë and Collins Stewart.

Ben Mountain

Quilter Cheviot

If Ben Mountain had not established a successful career in fund selection, he would have liked to have been an architect. ‘I’ve always been into property and design,’ he says.

His role is integral to the firm’s centralised investment process, which operates from a prescriptive buy list of 252. This breaks down into 150 open-ended funds, 55 investment trusts, 15 index funds and 32 ETFs.

When asked how the fund industry can improve the process by which funds are closed, he says: ‘Hard closing funds is more problematic for private clients. Soft closing funds by restricting access to new investors, but allowing continued support from existing investors, is preferred. Another soft closure option, albeit less attractive, is limiting investors to a daily maximum subscription.’

Like many of his peers, Quilter Cheviot’s head of investment fund research and managed portfolio service cites Findlay Park American as his best ever fund pick.

John Newlands

Brewin Dolphin

John Newlands, Brewin Dolphin’s head of investment companies research, has a key role in the research team, having taken investment trust assets under management from £1.7 billion to £3.8 billion in flat markets.

Newlands cites the Murray International Trust as his best investment since March 2008 and says the best advice he has ever been given is ‘don’t believe the numbers – work them out for yourself!’

Prior to joining Brewins, he founded Newlands Fund Research, where he worked between 2003 and 2007. Before this, he worked as an investment trust analyst at Williams de Broë.

In Newland’s view, the rise of model portfolio services could make it easier for selectors with a wider remit serving bespoke discretionary clients as it gives them more scope to unearth hidden gems, while others are restricted to only researching funds available on platforms.

Simon Nicholas

Brown Shipley

For inspiration, Simon Nicholas looks to former US president John F Kennedy, who said ‘change is a law of life, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future’.

Nicholas, who joined Brown Shipley in 2010 as a senior fund manager to run two multi-manager products, believes quantitative analysis can only contribute so much to the fund selection process. He insists you also have to ‘form a view of the road ahead’.

Initially, he had designs on becoming an architect. ‘I have a hidden creative side in addition to my analytical evaluation skills, and I love contemporary design, especially in buildings,’ he says.

But eventually he opted for a career in finance, which has included working at Mercater Capital Management, Aberdeen Asset Management and Cazenove Fund Management.

Justin Oliver

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management

Justin Oliver may well have been penning bestsellers instead of analysing funds, having been close to pursuing English literature at university. He suggests the usual advice for authors to write about what they know would mean him trying to be the ‘John Grisham equivalent in the wealth management industry!’.

After receiving sponsorship from Kleinwort Benson Guernsey during his university degree, he later began working in the bank’s investment department after graduating in 1994. He joined Canaccord in 2000.

As well as being deputy chairman of the wealth management division’s fund selection and asset allocation committees, he also chairs the group’s portfolio construction committee. Oliver says the ability to remain flexible in fund selection remains ‘an important element of the process’, and suggests Findlay Park American as the best fund he has ever backed.

Meanwhile, the best piece of advice he has been given is ‘the more complex something is, the greater the chance it will go spectacularly wrong’.

Jaisal Pastakia

Heartwood Investment Management

Two pieces of advice given to Pastakia stand out: find a really good mentor at every stage of your career, and never think that you know it all because that’s when you are most likely to make a mistake.

A graduate of Imperial College in London, Pastakia started his career as an investment banker at Dresdner Kleinwort in 2007 and joined Heartwood three years later.

Had he not entered the world of finance he may well have been found behind a camera as he ‘loved the idea of being in the same league as the likes of Sergio Leone, putting together epics that speak volumes to people’. Whether he would have been a success, however, remains to be seen considering a third piece of advice he was given, which was ‘give up the film production idea – your camera work is too shaky’.

The BlackRock European Dynamic fund has been his best investment to date.

Oliver Pearson-Lund

Jupiter Private Clients and Charities

Director Oliver Pearson-Lund joined Jupiter in 2009. He oversees fund selection in the firm’s private client division, alongside Philip Gent. He highlights Chris Watts, manager of the Jupiter Growth and Income fund as one to watch.

If Pearson-Lund hadn’t opted for investment management, he can envisage himself working as a sailing instructor somewhere hot.

A graduate in business studies and accounting at the University of West London, Pearson-Lund began his career in 1995 at Coutts as an analyst and private client portfolio manager.

He joined Invesco Private Portfolio Management in the late 1990s, before it was bought out by Singer & Friedlander in 1994, where he rose to become an investment director.

He is an associate of the Society of Investment Professionals, an associate member of the CISI and a member of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute.

Stephen Peters

Charles Stanley

Pity the fund managers who cross paths with Stephen Peters. Charles Stanley’s investment trust expert is unlikely to have the wool pulled over his eyes, saying if he had not succeeded in his current role, he would have fancied going into criminal or child psychology. This follows the degree he gained in psychology from the University of Essex.

‘You have two ears and one mouth, and they should be used in that proportion,’ is the best advice Peters has been given.

He joined Charles Stanley in 2007 after a four-year spell at Hewitt Associates. His role includes the co-management of the Matterley International Growth fund and the firm’s collectives portfolio research. Peters names AA-rated Mark Barnett’s Invesco Perpetual Income and Growth fund as the best he has ever invested in, and picks out Tom Naughton at Prusik as a rising star.

Mark Piper

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management

Mark Piper shunned university in favour of entering the world of finance once he had completed his A-levels.

After spending 10 years at Old Mutual International – where his responsibilities included managing its Elite offshore fund umbrella, as well as a selection of high net-worth private client portfolios – he joined Collins Stewart, now Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, in 1998.

This was initially part of the multi-manager team, providing discretionary portfolio management services to institutions, intermediaries and private clients. In addition, he has managed a number of CGWM’s multi-manager funds since their launch in March 2000, and is currently chairman of CGWM’s fund selection committee.

A firm believer in trying to ‘seek opportunity out of adversity’, Piper also highlights Tom Naughton at Prusik as a talented manager to watch for the future.

Alesandro Poli

HSBC Global Asset Management

Alessandro Poli believes he could have ended up working in the motor industry had he not opted to join the office of an Italian stockbroker in the mid-1990s. ‘I’ve always had a passion for cars,’ he admits.

After spending a year in the army, Poli joined Primegest, ‘a fund management company at that time owned by the Fiat group’, where he managed equity funds across a number of European developed and emerging markets.

He moved to London in 1997 to work at James Capel Investment Management, later taken over by HSBC. Poli, who studied economics and finance at Bocconi University in Milan, initially focused on managing European portfolios but then broadened his responsibilities to include global equity and balanced mandates.

In 2007, he began building, managing and developing HSBC’s wealth strategic solution service – a multi-asset portfolio service for high net-worth clients.

He says the best advice he’s heard is to ‘think laterally’.

Delyth Richards

Kleinwort Benson

On virtually the first day of her working life, Delyth Richards learned ‘never judge anyone by appearance alone’, which she says was based on meeting a millionaire property developer dressed in scruffy, paint-covered jeans. The next piece of advice she received was ‘the only limit on your success is that which you impose on yourself’.

Both ideas have served Richards well in her career, which has led to her becoming head of funds research at Kleinwort. If she wasn’t in her current job, she could see herself as a university lecturer because of her love of knowledge and learning.

Prior to joining Kleinwort Benson in 2000 as a credit specialist before heading the real estate advisory team, she spent nine years at Citi Private Bank.

As far as her best investments go, Richards says Arisaig’s Asia Consumer fund has been one of her most successful longer-term holdings.

Steven Richards

Thesis Asset Management

Apart from the obvious rock or sports star dream, Steven Richards says on a more ‘realistic’ level he would like to have run a bike shop in a different life. ‘Something far more tangible than the investment world with answers that can be found, things that can be fixed and items that bring genuine joy to the buyer,’ he explains.

Richards, who heads Thesis’s pooled vehicles selection committee, and manages its Optima Portfolio service alongside its Balanced and Growth funds, is not one to act on impulse.

‘Do not hit the “send” button straight away! Re-read what you have written, sit on it for half an hour, or write and never send. Remember to be an adult not a child,’ is his favourite tip.

Richards, who graduated from London Guildhall in financial services, names JO Hambro Capital Management’s AAA-rated Alex Saviddes as one to watch in the future.

Darren Ripton

Standard Life Wealth

While Darren Ripton enjoys constructing investment portfolios he can imagine himself as a carpenter in an alternative life. ‘[I’d like to have been] a carpenter. I enjoy my job very much but I am aware that there is little tangible that is generated on a day-to-day basis,’ he says. ‘I have always been impressed by those people with the skills to create. It would be great to be able to stand back at the end of a day and say “I made that”.’

Ripton graduated with a degree in business decision science from the University of Hertfordshire, and began his career at M&G in 1996 as an assistant to the firm’s UK equity team.

This was followed by a six-year spell at ABN Amro Private Bank before he switched to Standard Life Wealth in September 2007. He helps to oversee the firm’s 75-strong buy list, which is 98% open-ended.

Tomi Satchell

JO Hambro Investment Management

Tomi Satchell, who joined JO Hambro Investment Management (Johim) in 2007, has spent the best part of 30 years working in the financial services industry.

Satchell, whose investment style focuses on growth with a top-down approach, insists that there is total flexibility within Johim’s approach to back smaller funds.

His career began in 1986 at Kleinwort Benson. He subsequently worked at Bank Julius Baer (1993-96), AIB Govet Asset Management (1996-99) and was at Credit Suisse until 2007.

A graduate in economic history from Durham University, he also holds a Securities Industry Diploma.

Satchell says the Odey Absolute Return fund remains the best investment he’s made so far in his career and suggests Jonathan Pines, manager of Hermes Emerging Asia, is a potential star of the future.

Elizabeth Savage


Elizabeth Savage joined Rathbones in 2005 from fund of hedge funds outfit Progressive Alternative Investments, having graduated in 2001 with a degree in geography from Newcastle University.

She currently works as a research director alongside head of fund selection David Coombs, and sits on Rathbones’ asset allocation, collectives and corporate governance committees.

‘It doesn’t pay to be complacent as you are only as good as your last investment,’ is the most important lesson she has learned in her career.

‘Knowing when to sell is probably the hardest part of a fund selector’s role. The ability to adapt is also important: I started my career in a specialist role and I have broadened my knowledge and experience over time,’ she explains.

If she had not entered finance she would have liked to have gone into teaching.

Gayle Schumacher

Coutts & Co

Gayle Schumacher has headed Coutts’s investment office since 2011, having served as co-chief investment officer at Royal Bank of Scotland’s private banking arm since 2009.

The role included responsibility for Adam and Co as well as RBS and NatWest Private Banking, meaning she influenced about £40 billion in assets through some of the most testing periods for markets in living memory.

‘Her rigour and profound understanding of asset allocation decision making will be fundamental,’ Coutts said at the time of her appointment.

US-born Schumacher studied economics at Stanford University, California, and also holds 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.

Had she not entered finance, Schumacher says she would have become an academic.

Alan Scrimger

Ashcourt Rowan

Ashcourt’s head of fund research Alan Scrimger loves travelling and anticipates a career in the travel industry had he not entered the world of finance in 1995.

‘I have been lucky that I’ve worked for companies that have allowed me to develop in dynamic roles, while enjoying my passion for travelling as part of my career,’ he says.

Scrimger has an economics degree from Strathclyde University and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University. He initially worked in banking before moving into asset management in 2003. Latterly, he ran Standard Life’s fund research process and in his current role as head of fund research at Ashcourt he oversees a 100-strong buy list.

He suggests three experienced managers to watch: Edward Legget at Standard Life, Neil Veitch at SVM and Gervais Williams at Miton.

Mona Shah


If Mona Shah was not making a name for herself in fund selection at Rathbones she would likely be causing a stir in the fashion world.

Shah served as an intern at Vogue at the tender age of 16, and says in an alternative world she ‘would be working at a fashion house, embracing the challenge of bringing commercial savviness and improving the bottom line to the creativity of the designer’.

However, she soon realised she ‘didn’t want to get a degree only to spend years filing endless Polaroids of shoes’, opting instead to study politics and economics at Bristol University.

Shah joined Rathbones in 2007, and works as assistant manager on the firm’s Enhanced Growth and Total Return funds. She also sits on the firm’s strategic asset allocation and collectives committees.

Alan Sippetts

Heartwood Investment Management

In his role as head of product and manager research, Alan Sippetts is in charge of due diligence on all of the securities and funds the firm considers for its portfolios.

Heartwood’s recommended list currently comprises 197 instruments. This tends to break down as 45% in open-ended funds, 10% in investment trusts, 25% in ETFs, 10% in structured products and the remainder in securities.

Sippetts has been with Heartwood since 2007. His 25-year career in the industry includes six years as head of funds research at Lloyds Private Banking. Between 1991 and 2001, he was also a fund manager and ultimately head of UK smaller companies at Legal & General Investment Management.

He highlights Heronbridge UK Equity as the best fund he has backed to date, and tips Thierry Lucas of Portland Hill as a rising star.

Nick Sketch

Investec Wealth & Investment

A graduate in aeronautical engineering, Nick Sketch has a diverse range of interests and an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

He counts research psychology, marine zoology and ancient history among his interests. ‘The range of interesting areas is almost infinite,’ he says. For Sketch, the investment world is a fine line between judging a book by its cover and taking things at face value. ‘If something is too good to be true, it is probably not true. Also, if something looks and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.’

Sketch began his career as an adviser in 1985 and in 1991 he joined WI Carr. He has been with same firm ever since, riding through a series of name changes and mergers in the process.

Richard Spencer

Brooks Macdonald

Never invest in something you can’t understand. That’s a piece of advice that’s held true for Richard Spencer, who started out as an adviser in 1985 before becoming the co-founder and chief investment officer of Brooks Macdonald six years later.

A graduate of the University of Hull, where he studied economics and business, Spencer believes he was destined for a career in finance as he had always been interested in the economy and markets. If he wasn’t in his current role, therefore, he may have been a stockbroker.

Citing Newton Asian Income as the best fund he’s invested in so far, he highlights Edward Legget of Standard Life Investments as a star of the future. There are about 200 funds on Brooks’ buy list, with 65% in open-ended funds, 20% in closed-ended, 10% in structured products and 5% in passives.

Matthew Stanesby

Close Brothers Asset Management

Having studied mathematics and engineering at Nottingham University, Matthew Stanesby would have stayed on to do a PhD and continue his research into materials for the aeronautical industry had he not gone into finance.

The next 18 years were spent in the actuarial and investment consulting arena in the life insurance, pensions and investment teams at both Mercer and Aon. He then worked in the multi-manager team at Aon, which was later acquired by Close Brothers Asset Management.

Stanesby currently heads the team responsible for the research, selection and monitoring of managers. He cites Lindsell Train UK Equity as his best investment yet, describing Citywire AAA-rated Nick Train as ‘a very experienced fund manager with a proven track record, who still seems to be off a lot of people’s radars’. He predicts Jupiter’s James Clunie will enjoy a bright future. Meanwhile, the best advice Stanesby has ever been given is that ‘humility is the solid foundation of all virtues’.

David Storm

RBC Wealth Management

David Storm is a director of investment solutions at RBC Wealth Management. His London-based team provides fund research and oversees selection for the firm’s advisory and corporate benefit plan businesses.

Storm’s primary focus is on absolute return and alternative investment strategies. He has amassed a wealth of experience during his career, which spans more than 15 years.

Charlie Lewis, head of discretionary management, and Jamie Hayes, fund analyst, also have input into RBC’s fund research process, which guides the firm’s £3.6 billion in total assets under management.

Storm is both a CFA and CAIA charterholder.

Andrew Summers

Investec Wealth & Investment

While it is important for Andrew Summers to keep his feet firmly on the ground in his current profession, his dream job would have been something far headier. ‘I’d like to have been an airline pilot. I love planes, flying and travelling,’ he says.

Summers gained a philosophy, economics and politics degree from Oxford University and has spent the bulk of his investment career in various roles at Goldman Sachs, latterly as part of the offshore product development team in the asset management division.

He names AAA-rated Paul Marriage’s Cazenove UK Smaller Companies fund as one of his best ever investments and predicts Michael Stiasny, deputy to Tom Dobell on the M&G Recovery fund, as a potential star of the future.

‘It’s all about delivery and being seen as someone who can get things over the line,’ is among the top advice that has helped to carry Summers through his career.

Paul Surguy

Sanlam Private Investments

A career in IT could have been on the cards for Paul Surguy had he not gone into fund selection, but he insists this would have been ‘a distant second choice’.

As head of managed funds at Sanlam Private Investments, Surguy is a key member of the investment team and responsible for coordinating all fund research, as well as constructing and maintaining the company’s collective strategies.

Since joining the firm, he has been instrumental in building the managed funds team and has the final say on fund selection for all asset classes across the business.

Surguy, who graduated with honours in computer science from Bristol University, previously worked in finance at the management consultancy arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He says the best advice he’s been given in his career is to diversify, and that ‘there is no one perfect way of managing money’.

He highlights First State Global Emerging Markets as his best investment to date and Richard Bullas of Franklin Templeton as a manager he believes is destined for a bright future.

Simon Temple Pederson

JM Finn

As chair of JM Finn’s investment funds committee, Simon Temple Pederson plays a key role in driving the company’s approach to fund selection.

He came to work in the City at the tender age of 19 and moved into investment management in the 1990s. He has worked at JM Finn since 2000 and now sits on the firm’s management committee.

JM Finn doesn’t run a prescribed buy list. It takes a two-tiered approach to fund selection, led at the top level by the investment funds committee, which maintains a list of approved providers. Bottom-up the firm assigns an investment manager as the lead researcher across 10 specific asset classes, who then draws up a list of preferred funds based on their personal conviction of their best-of-breed research.

‘Having a preferred list of funds, as opposed to a buy list, allows individual investment managers the freedom to invest in funds that are appropriate for their clients,’ Temple Pederson notes.

Andrew Thompson

Close Brothers Asset Management

Andrew Thompson’s career started at stockbroker Henry Cooke Lumsden in 1989, where he eventually became operations director of its in-house fund business in the late 1990s.

He joined Close Private Asset Management as an investment director in 2000, where his background has proved invaluable in the company’s fund research efforts. As a result, Thompson now has responsibility for a number of fund of funds.

Although the business operates a core list of funds that are used and researched, Thompson says managers are still handed the freedom to express their views with additional funds as long as they maintain their own due diligence, noting ‘our long-term role is to seek out new and up and coming managers’.

He cites Leigh Himsworth at the City Financial UK Select Opportunities fund, albeit an experienced hand, as a potential outperformer in the future.

Oliver Tucker

Sarasin & Partners

‘Keep your head down and work hard’ is the best piece of advice Oliver Tucker has received during his career.

A politics graduate from Bristol University, Tucker joined Sarasin & Partners in 2007, where, in 2011, he was promoted to senior fund analyst. In the following year he was named co-manager of the firm’s Global Diversified and Global Equity funds of funds from launch. He also manages several segregated and white-labelled funds, and cemented his rapid rise through the ranks when he was appointed associate partner at the firm in May this year.

In this capacity, Tucker has overseen the development of the third-party fund selection process, and provides ideas in the alternatives and specialist areas for the asset allocation committee.

Michel van der Spek

Rothschild Wealth Management & Trust

Michel van der Spek heads Rothschild’s funds research team from its Zurich base. He has held this position since June 2009 and has a particular focus on hedge funds, long-only fixed income and Asian equities.

Prior to this, Van der Spek was an executive director at Harcourt Investment Consulting, a fund of hedge fund specialist. He also had spells as an associate at JP Morgan and a fixed income analyst at Lehman Brothers in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

He works alongside Rupen Patel, a senior portfolio manager and fund analyst at the company, heading up the UK’s investment research team, with a specialism in collective investments.

Graham Wainer


Graham Wainer may have fancied a life as an academic or striding the fairways as a professional golfer, but instead he ended up forging a successful career for himself in financial services.

This includes working as an executive director of EFG Private Bank and managing director of Private Asset Management.

Wainer, who has been head of private clients and portfolio management at GAM since the late 1990s, chairs its managed portfolios investment team and co-manages a range of GAM funds, based on managed portfolios strategies.

During his career he says the best piece of advice he has been given is ‘don’t bet against the US’.

In his early career he worked as an economist at First National Bank in South Africa and was on the academic staff at the School of Economics, University of Cape Town.

Wainer graduated with a BCom from the University of Witwatersrand and holds honours and masters degrees in economics from the University of Cape Town.

Jonathan Webster-Smith

Brooks Macdonald

Jonathan Webster-Smith is head of the Brooks Macdonald Managed Portfolio Service team. His specialist research sector is fixed interest and he manages the firm’s Balanced, Cautious Growth and Defensive Income funds.

Outside of fund research, Webster-Smith is an investment team director, managing money for private clients and pension mandates. He has been at Brooks Macdonald for 12 years, having joined in 2001.

Webster-Smith counts the Financial Planning Certificate and Advanced Financial Planning Certificate among his qualifications. He is also an affiliate member of the CISI.

Andrew Wilson


Towry’s Andrew Wilson draws on wisdom from diverse source, ranging from human rights activist Malcolm X and Warren Buffett’s right-hand man Charlie Munger to stay motivated.

‘If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success,’ is a quote he cites from the former. From the latter, he recalls the words: ‘In my whole life, I have known no wise person, over a broad subject matter, who didn’t read all the time – none, zero. Investment is broad area.’

Wilson, ‘a lover of anything to do with horse racing’, has remained loyal to Towry for almost 20 years. He joined the firm (then JS&P) straight from Newcastle University, where he graduated in history with politics in 1994.

He has been head of investment management for more than a decade and was the architect of the firm’s risk-targeted funds, which launched in 2004.

Nick Wood

Quilter Cheviot

As a keen sportsman, Nick Wood harboured dreams of developing his prowess and becoming a full-time triathlete, although he’s unsure how successful he would have been. ‘I’m not quite one of the Brownlees but it would have been fun trying,’ he says.

Having graduated with a degree in economics and a masters in Russian and Eastern European studies, Wood began his career at Capital International, latterly working as a quantitative analyst.

He joined Quilter Cheviot at the end of 2012 and cites Sands Capital, a US growth manager with ‘an extremely impressive track record over 20 years’, as one of his best investments.

Citywire AA-rated duo Nick Kirrage and Kevin Murphy of Schroder Recovery, meanwhile, ‘look like having the potential to become the next rising stars within the UK equity space’.

The best advice he’s ever been given: ‘If you enjoy what you do, you will never work another day in your life’.

Simon Wood

Lloyds Private Banking

Simon Wood oversees fund selection for Lloyds Investment Solutions alongside Mark Harries. The bank leverages off its asset management subsidiary Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, where Wood runs multi-manager funds.

His team advises on more than £8 billion of assets for the bank, driving investment philosophy, asset allocation, fund selection and the monitoring of underlying investments.

The team’s list comprises 50 open-ended funds.

Wood left school at age 16 and has enjoyed a career spanning 25 years managing private client portfolios, fund of funds and manager of manager funds at Standard Chartered Bank, AXA and Cazenove prior to Swip.

Gideon Wright

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Gideon Wright’s twin passions of writing and playing sports could have led to a career as a sports journalist, where the best advice he ever received would have still applied: ‘Treat the highs and lows equally.’

Instead, he chose to enter the financial world, where he has worked for more than 30 years.

Wright, who decided against going to university, spent the first 20 years of his working life at NatWest, Gartmore and Coutts, before joining Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2000.

He says the most exciting funds he’s invested in have been those focused on smaller firms in Europe, the UK and the US.

While happy to invest in smaller up-and-coming funds, he remains sceptical of new funds unless he knows the manager’s track record. He suggests anyone who covers the emerging markets is likely to have a good 10 years.

Jie Zhang

Signia Wealth

Jie Zhang joined Signia Wealth from Morningstar in China, where she spent three and a half years.

She initially worked as a data analyst and then moved into fund research, focusing on fund analysis in China and US markets.

She was also responsible for global fund industry research, and provided consultancy to Chinese financial regulatory authorities and local asset management firms. Prior to joining Morningstar, she worked at China Everbright Bank.

Fast-growing boutique Signia has a 40-strong buy list, with half in ETFs and the rest in open-ended funds. The list is very prescriptive for individual managers at the company.

Zhang has an MSc in money, banking and finance from Lancaster University and is a CFA charterholder.

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