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Wealth Manager: Quilter Cheviot's strategy boss on his top stocks

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by David Campbell on Oct 24, 2013 at 11:07

Quilter Cheviot chief investment strategist Alan McIntosh may have joined a boutique but it is fast growing into a major player. ‘I have never been a big company man,’ he says of a career that has taken him through UBS and Credit Suisse back down the market cap as a founder member of Cheviot.

‘I am a bit of a control freak; one of the things about me is that I like to influence what I am doing rather than applying someone else’s process.’

While there is little doubt that as head of the company’s equity process gives him a firm grip on the tiller, the rapid growth of the business means it is an increasingly large ship to steer.

Almost a year on from the merger of Cheviot with Quilter – effectively a buyout, with Quilter’s private equity backer Bridgepoint offering a cash exit to Cheviot’s directors and seed investor Toscafund – the group is at the upper end of the mid-tier of wealth managers, and growing fast.

With assets under management approaching £15 billion, it sits below the top table of Brewin Dolphin (£27.5 billion), Rathbone Brothers (£19.1 billion) and Charles Stanley (£17.7 billion), but well clear of other similarly sized rivals such as Close Asset management (£9.1 billion) and Brooks Macdonald (£6.68 billion).

The business is, moreover, coming up hard behind the sector leaders, with the final set of company accounts for Cheviot as an independent entity showing assets under management growing 15.7% during a much more challenging period for investment businesses than the last 12 months.

Pound-for-pound, a Wealth Manager analysis of the sector in late 2012 showed that both Cheviot and Quilter sat at the upper end of AUM per staff member, running £68.44 million and £71.9 million per employee respectively, versus Charles Stanley on £45.99 million and Brooks Macdonald on £66.9 million, for instance.

 

While not closely involved on the operational side of the business, McIntosh says the integration has been deftly managed and will culminate in an imminent move to combined offices on London’s Kingsway, a short distance from Cheviot’s current base of Longacre, in the heart of the city’s theatre-land.

He offers as an example of the relatively harmonious union the division of investment strategies between himself and chief investment officer Duncan Gwyther, part of the Quilter team, who heads fixed income while McIntosh handles equities.

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