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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a753412

Veritas’s Rayward: the super boutique concept is flawed

by Elsa Buchanan on May 30, 2014 at 14:48

Veritas’s Rayward: the super boutique concept is flawed

So far 2014 has seen the emergence of a new breed of ‘super-boutiques’ following the merger of a number of well-known investment offices. However, Veritas is one boutique that has no desire to take part in this trend.

Veritas Investment Management CEO Mark Rayward (pictured) believes consolidation has prepared the ground for specialist boutiques.

‘There is good opportunity and space in the market for focused boutiques and specialist investment managers to work with clients and lawyers, accountants and offshore trust companies consultants.

‘There is plenty of space now because most of our competition has merged with someone,’ he explained.

Veritas currently manages £1.5 billion, with an average client portfolio of £3 million plus. It employs 10 investment managers, eight of whom are partners. Over the past 18 months, the firm took on an extra two partners.

‘The partnership has been steadily growing, at a pace of an average £150 million a year in assets under management terms,’ he explained.

‘That’s a controlled sensible rate, because it’s not too many clients. We’re a partnership and we don’t want to get too big.’

In light of this, Rayward believes the way forward is to remain a specialist boutique, and he is in no hurry to reach critical mass, which he places near £2 billion.

He is keen for the firm to remain as a pure investment manager with no financial planning team, which he expects should stand Veritas in good stead.

‘The only way to deal with the industry structural headwinds over next decade is by either getting bigger to have an economy of scale, or be very focused and refuse to provide all services for all men.’

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