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Wealth Adviser: Peter Lowman of Investment Quorum on the line between IFA and WM

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by David Campbell on Sep 22, 2010 at 00:01

Without wishing to get too wrapped up in semantics, asking whether Investment Quorum is an IFA on its way to becoming a wealth manager, or a wealth manager with a history as an IFA, offers some insight into the current health of both sectors.

On the one hand, lifestyle planning is both front and centre of the client experience. On the other, the company’s discretionary service is rapidly approaching its third anniversary.

The company’s chief investment officer Peter Lowman, a 30-year veteran of Cazenove, is not himself in any doubt.

‘Investment Quorum began life as an IFA. Then at the end of 2006, Lee [Robertson, founder and chief executive] felt that there was an opportunity to move from that into private wealth management.

‘My perception is that we were a big fish in a small pond. We are now a slightly smaller fish in a larger pond, but now we have been noticed by a lot of the bigger players.’

Among those players is the Financial Times, which in this year’s annual private client review included the company for the first time on its list of 30 principal private client businesses in the UK, alongside CouttsBarclays et al.

Robertson himself recently won a prestigious private client award. While he says the selection process was very opaque, he was told privately it was due to the company’s success in ‘shaking things up’.   

Both men make the point that the company has at least one major advantage over the Goliaths they are up against: a determination to treat people fairly and an aversion to discussing their clients in terms such as ‘share of wallet’.

Lowman, who was ready to leave the industry before he was introduced to the company, says the fact that he felt comfortable with the way Investment Quorum treated its clients was one of the factors that kept him in the City.

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