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Wealth Manager Profile: James Edgedale
by Matthew Goodburn on Aug 24, 2009 at 12:46
It would be fair to say JM Finn & Co and its chairman James Edgedale have been through a lot of changes over the past three decades.
Edgedale played a key role in the company’s transition from a partnership to a privately owned investment manager three years ago, when he took on the role of chairman. Since then, he has taken an even firmer grip on overseeing its business strategy.
He joined straight from university in 1984, just before Big Bang, and readily admits that between 1945, when the firm was established, and his arrival not a great deal had changed.
Edgedale conjures images of just how old-school the City private client stockbroker world was back in the early 1980s, prior to the great technological leap forward.
It was all a far cry from his role as the firm’s prime mover and shaker today, overseeing a London office and four regional offices.
Today, Edgedale oversees just short of £4 billion in assets, employs 283 people and a further 35 in a subsidiary.
Urbane and impeccably blue-blooded, the horse-racing buff recalls how, by the time he became a partner in 1990, things had ‘stagnated a bit’ at the firm.
And while it seems likely his jovial side will endear him to the 250 families he looks after, it should not detract from his determination to get the best for their collective £300 million of assets, spread across 800 accounts.
‘Changes between the 1940s and the 1980s were not great,’ he says bluntly.
‘The big change came when banks could start taking over stockbrokers. The partners at that stage did not sell out and the next generation of partners did not develop the business.’
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