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Wealth Manager: Murray AM CIO Lloyd on restructuring to meet RDR challenge

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by Danielle Levy on Apr 19, 2012 at 00:01

As the world emerges from the most profound and far-reaching financial crisis since the Great Depression, Murray Asset Management’s chief investment officer Simon Lloyd is cautiously optimistic.

He is not only positive about the equity markets over the longer term, but also hopes the Edinburgh-based boutique will be well positioned for growth, particularly with the onset of the retail distribution review (RDR) in January 2013.

The firm was formerly the investment management and financial planning division of law firm Murray Beith Murray, but was spun out and made independent in March 2008. It was a decision that was driven in part by changes to regulation and capital adequacy, together with the motivation to boost growth in the business as a standalone.

‘Partly it was regulatory driven. It also came at a time that we wanted to separate the business to generate growth, although that has been quite hard under the circumstances,’ Lloyd says. ‘The idea was to loosen ties between the two firms to allow Murray Asset Management to stand on its own and see clients on its own and build its own profile.’ 

He adds that the team has sought to ensure that through the transition, service for existing clients has been seamless.

Although Lloyd concedes the timing could have been better, the move has helped to attract new business from other professional introducers. And with £275 million under management, the team is now looking ahead to the next stage of growth.

‘For us, it is as if we were coming in as a complete unknown. We are well known in the industry and among our peers, but among advisers and professionals we are not particularly well known,’ Lloyd says.

‘Really, the thrust of what we are doing is raising awareness, initially among professionals through invites to seminars and one or two strategic adverts to raise name awareness of our company.’

Lloyd hopes growth will be driven primarily through professional referrals, referrals from existing clients and hopefully being able to retain the ‘independent’ label post-RDR as a result of offering financial planning alongside investment management.

 

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