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Wealth Adviser: Jason Day of Allenbridge on the fund finds powering his performance

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by David Campbell on Jan 21, 2011 at 00:01

Considering the reputational prestige and amount of internal resources potentially available to feed it, Allenbridge’s wealth management proposition can appear curiously underpowered. Not in terms of what it delivers for clients – the performance of its Strategic Alpha fund speaks for itself – but its scale and reach relative to the company’s multi-billion brokerage and institutional divisions.

Partly, this is caused by the particular point in the historical cycle the wealth management industry has found itself in the past two years. Ambitious directors and CEOs sensing an opportunity to boom at the expense of the investment banks that have long crowded them out are now the norm.

It seems almost every company founder or manager has grandiose plans to double, triple or otherwise aggressively expand their client base at the expense of larger rivals currently experiencing a spot of bother. In this respect, then, Jason Day, head of private clients at Allenbridge, is refreshing.

‘We have a good client bank and brand. All of the business we have built has been through referrals,’ says Day.

‘But we have not promoted it at all, even the fund of funds. We have just built it up steadily. It would be nice to add scale, but it is hard to find the right people. The fund of funds is useful for that. It has never been aggressive – it was set up to provide management for a few clients who had expressed an interest.’

Day is actually the private client management team in its entirety, looking after around 20 family relationships with around £20 million under management, at an average £800,000 each.

 

The apparently limited size of the business is in part down to the division of labour. The charity and institutional investment consultancy’s £20 billion under advice is considered separately, with an undisclosed amount (‘we like to keep it under wraps’) in a family office.

These sit alongside the historical core of the business, the fund analysis division established by founder and group managing director Anthony Yadgaroff in 1986, and the ISA/PEP-orientated discount brokerage and tax shelter teams attached, catering for 260,000 customers with a total £40 million in assets.

In the 12 months to June last year the combined group (it does not produce disaggregated accounts) produced £1.5 million in profits on £2.6 million turnover, compared with £1.56 million gross profit on £2.47 million turnover the year before.

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