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Wealth Manager: Signia's Birmingham head on breaking the UK's second city
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by James Phillipps on Apr 05, 2012 at 00:01
‘In many ways I stayed at UBS through 2008 to 2011 because I felt that my clients needed someone they could trust to help them through the downturn.
‘But then I was looking to find the right home to offer client-focused and independent solutions and it wasn’t a bank, which would be a similar proposition but a different suit. The challenge for me was to find the best company providing independent wealth management for clients.’
This initially proved harder than might be expected, owing to the lack of choice in terms of wealth management offerings in Birmingham, particularly when compared with London.
‘In the city there are a lot of brokers, IFAs and private banks but there was no-one offering independent wealth management in the Midlands to ultra-high net worth individuals and families,’ King says.
‘When Signia approached me it was perfect timing. Nathalie [Dauriac-Stoebe, Signia’s chief executive and a former Wealth Manager cover star] is a very impressive and driven person and had had the vision to set up an independent boutique for her clients.
‘For me, the attraction was first that it is an independent-thinking owner-managed business and second that its interests as a business are aligned with those of our clients. We are working for them, not for a parent or a
Dauriac-Stoebe had previously set up a private office for ultra-high net worth individuals at Coutts. After she was approached by a number of key clients to set up on her own and work for them rather than the bank, she launched Signia.
The demand for such an independent boutique is evident in the fact that as it approaches its second anniversary, Signia has already amassed some £2.5 billion in assets under management.
Its clients are in the £10 million-plus bracket and King says they tend to be entrepreneurial rather than inherited wealth and quite international in flavour, with about half being London-based non-doms.