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Wealth Manager: the best-performing WM this year is going national

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by David Campbell on Sep 27, 2013 at 00:01

Pop quiz: which was the best performing listed asset manager in the UK over the last 12 months?

Those of you about to say Arbuthnot Group can put your hands down now, although with a 69% return over the period this would be a reasonable guess.Nor was it Brewin Dolphin (54.61%), Jupiter (50.14%), Close Brothers (36%) or Ashcourt Rowan (28%).

While these companies would have been worthy places for your money over the last year – versus a FTSE Financials index return of 25% – they were all beaten by AIM-listed Mattioli Woods, which has rerated by a heroic 72.06% since September 2012.

A large part of this success, according to head of wealth management Murray Smith, can be credited to a healthy and cooperative internal culture.

This is unsurprising since the business has reached its current position while retaining the respect of large numbers of both peers and professional clients. Advisers participating in the comment section of Wealth Manager sister title New Model Adviser, for example, are almost universally positive about the company, unlike some of its competitors.

The 12-month period of rerating covered the formal launch of the firm’s discretionary management business, which has so far managed to gather around £500 million in assets.

While much of this was through acquisition, £230 million came organically through the transfer of formerly advisory internal funds. Including its pension administration business – which remains the core of the company – Mattioli Woods now holds assets under influence of £3.6 billion, up 20% on the year.

The discretionary growth will inevitably slow from here, but the division has credible plans to increase assets to above £1 billion over the next few years. This is in addition to expanding its geographical footprint from its current four regional offices in addition to its Leicester HQ, to something like nationwide coverage. 

 

Expanding on his earlier point, Smith says of Mattioli Woods’ launch in 1991: ‘It was supposed to be “lifestyle” business – both [co-founders] Ian [Mattioli] and Bob [Woods] had just come out of bigger firms.’

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