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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a654816

Signia's Robinson hire paves way for Leeds and Manchester arms

by Annabelle Williams on Feb 01, 2013 at 07:00

Signia's Robinson hire paves way for Leeds and Manchester arms

Signia is looking to open offices in Manchester and Leeds following its first foray outside London in Birmingham last year.

The expansion plans follow the boutique’s hire of former Schroders Private Banking boss Rupert Robinson for the newly created role of head of wealth management. He will work alongside its Birmingham office chief Martin King to grow the business in the north.

The pair are currently scouting for teams to come on board and aim to open at least one regional office in the next 12 months.

Signia opened the Birmingham branch last January, with King brought in from UBS Wealth, where he was an executive director, to head the branch. He said the decision to open further offices was on the back of its regional success so far, as Birmingham had ‘really taken off’.

While he declined to give a figure for the office’s asset under management, he said it had made a good start on its target of £500 million to £1 billion in assets within the next five years.

‘We have gained traction so quickly,’ he said, adding that even though Birmingham is ‘very well broked’ he felt there was a gap in the ultra-high net worth market.

‘There isn’t any business like Signia in Birmingham, an independent business that offers holistic wealth management to high net worths,’ he said.

‘There are lots of smaller IFAs, a handful of private banks but not one has positioned themselves to offer truly holistic wealth management services in the high net worth space.’

While Signia formally caters for clients with more than £10 million in assets, King said he had been flexible on the minimum in Birmingham, working with clients with assets of £5 million and upwards, and would likely be as flexible in other regions.

While many will look to The Rich List as the definitive barometer of wealth in a region, King said this list was not truly reflective of the scale of wealth in the Midlands. His team have identified roughly 500 families in the area with £10-£50 million of wealth.

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