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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.

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1 comment so far. Why not have your say?


May 02, 2014 at 13:47

Right now, the Wealth Management sectors has more self-syled angels than demons which poses something of an existential threat.

What do you do as a business when the War on Evil is over?

How do you define yourself when the basis of the proposition ("We're not like the Bad Guys") evaporates?

Sounds like Wealth Management is becomning as amorphous and fragnmented as the tradtional IFA space.

That's not a bad thing but it does challenge the identity of many firms who are likely to find increasing competition for the same clients whilst being largely undifferentiated.

Who can guess what this means for the longevity of the expanding number of firms in the WM space?

And how should prospective clients gauge who will still be in business in five or ten years time before they sign up for a long-term relationship?

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