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Profile: why Riverpeak has SJP in its sights
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by Elsa Buchanan on May 01, 2014 at 00:01
The reasons for the launch of wealth management boutiques always sound valiantly familiar: saving clients from the clutches of fee-greedy banks and the need to break from a larger institution to provide a more bespoke service.
For private banking veteran Nick Parker though, the rationale behind the set-up of his boutique was more prosaic.
It was when the trustees of his pension scheme failed to disclose performance figures for his retirement fund he realised he had not paid much attention to his pension, and that others could well be in his position.
‘Sitting at home, I phoned up Aon Hewitt and asked them for the performance history for my pension, something I had never really concentrated on. They said they couldn’t provide it for me and told me to look at all the individual factsheets, and work it out myself,’ he recalls. ‘Before I hung up, I told them that it was absolutely ridiculous.’
Some weeks before, Parker and long-term colleague James Powell had left Banque Havilland, a step the pair had taken after its owners, the Rowland family, decided the business needed to go in a different direction.
At Banque Havilland he was formerly responsible for all private banking operations in the UK, Luxembourg and Monaco.
But the break in 2013 meant he could take time to explore his idea of launching an independent wealth management business that was much more accessible and transparent.
‘During that period, my mind was trying to put these facts together: that pensions providers couldn’t tell me how they were performing and that most of the private banks I have worked at usually operate on a restrictive model, where they can’t advise across the whole spectrum. I realised something needed to be done about this.’
He went on to analyse the business models of a range of wealth managers and how they dealt with the pensions issue.