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Quilter Cheviot’s Manchester head on the North West opportunity
by Danielle Levy on Feb 28, 2013 at 13:39
‘For example, a benchmark plus plus plus where you take bigger bets where there is sex and violence. Obviously within our solutions for clients we are bespoke but the majority of clients will choose a safer option, influenced by their IFA because they are worried about litigation and the risks, the whole environment.’
In fact around 90% of the £475 million in assets that are managed out of Quilter Cheviot’s Manchester office is run on behalf of intermediaries, with a particular focus on bespoke. Following the merger with Cheviot, Rothburn hopes the addition of extra regional business development staff will enable the intermediary channel to represent even more of a growth area.
‘It has already brought extra regional sales people and therefore better geographical coverage of the North of England. It was a big territory for two people to cover, but is perfect for four people,’ he said.
‘We will have much better coverage of people on the ground, talking to IFAs about what we can offer and what it will probably bring is a greater number of events in the region, for example in Leeds and further into Yorkshire.’
Since Rothburn took over the Manchester office in 2002, assets have quadrupled and the investment team is now 12-strong along with four regional business development managers.
He acknowledges the world in which he operates today is very different to the one that pervaded in the early nineties, when he and five of his colleagues opted to set up the office for Quilter Goodison rather than joining Brewin Dolphin after its acquisition of Bell Lawrie White in 1993.
Rothburn gained a lot from his time at Bell Lawrie, not least recognising the growth potential associated with building relationships with intermediaries and the attractions of discretionary business: two factors that have since driven growth through Quilter’s business.
‘We were going through forced corporate change with Brewin Dolphin. The question was did we go for the Brewin deal or for Quilter? We looked at their systems and brand at the time. Interestingly, when I was at Bell Lawrie we were the sister company to Hill Samuel Financial Services. It was there that I started to recognise the power of relationships with financial advisers because they have the ability to walk across the door and say, “We have got a client for you”,’ he said.
While this was hampered by the fact that it was hard to facilitate fee-sharing at the time, Rothburn recalls capitalising on the opportunities after he had joined Quilter when this became easier to administer in the mid-nineties. Although he could also see the value of having a discretionary client bank over advisory, he recalls that once again he had to wait for events – in this case the development of technology – before it became possible.
‘I saw the opportunity but perhaps the technology was not there, so we carried on doing a lot of the normalised stuff, but we started to wake up to the fact that discretionary was a good place to be because you are not on the phone punting stocks to clients. It was the emergence of investment management effectively and all the disciplines. My industry changed around me and I was willing to change with it. Not everyone was willing to do that,’ he recalls.
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