St James’s Place Wealth Management: Best Private Client Investment Manager
In March 2014, St James’s Place Wealth Management, with a market capitalisation of approximately GBP4.2bn and over GBP44bn in client funds under management, entered the ranks of the UK’s blue chip FTSE 100 companies, just 23 years after the Cirencester group was founded.
David Bellamy (pictured), Chief Executive Officer since 2007, comments: “At the heart of the sustained growth in our business is the importance that we place on building and maintaining long lasting relationships with, and between, our Partners and clients, serving them well and providing peace of mind through our distinctive approach to the management of their investments.”
Through the firm’s advisers, known as Partners and collectively as the St James’s Place Partnership, it offers the most comprehensive geographic access to wealth management advice in the UK. Drawing on an average of 18 years’ industry experience, its Partners’ focus is to provide clients with a highly personalised financial advice service and to nurture long-term relationships.
“Many organisations are withdrawing their client-facing advisory services,” comments Bellamy. “But we firmly believe that face-to-face advice, backed by regular communication, will continue to help our clients make well-informed decisions.”
St James’s Place works closely with clients to provide a full wealth management service from investment and retirement planning through to estate preservation and protection. The distinctive approach to investment management helps clients build investment portfolios and access an extensive range of funds.
St James’s Place does not employ its own investment managers. Instead, its Investment Committee, advised by an external investment research consultancy, Stamford Associates, selects external managers from around the globe, in a number of cases providing unique access to the manager in the UK retail market.
Each manager’s investment style and strategy is carefully researched before the Investment Committee adds a new fund to the portfolio. Managers are continually monitored and, if confidence in a manager is lost, they will be replaced. “Our clients now have access to more than 40 high-quality investment managers from around the world,” says Bellamy. “Our broad diversification across asset classes, geographies and investment management styles within an investment portfolio mitigates risks and helps clients achieve their financial goals.”
The recent decision by St James’s Place to retain the services of one of the UK’s most respected investment managers, Neil Woodford, following his decision to leave Invesco Perpetual, demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach. The Investment Committee, assisted by Stamford Associates, was able to gain a detailed understanding of the developments and potential solutions for St James’s Place clients who had invested in its funds managed by Woodford at Invesco Perpetual. One of the largest mandate changes in UK fund management, the decision to transfer the funds to Woodford Investment Management, together with a series of other fund changes, offered clients a seamless transition and continuity of management that was unmatched.
Commenting on winning the award, Bellamy says: “We are all delighted at St James’s Place to receive the 2014 Best Private Client Investment Manager Award, which validates our approach to wealth management, the importance we place on client relationships and the hard work and commitment of the St James’s Place community. Thank you to everyone who voted and may I just add, that on a personal note, I am extremely flattered to receive the 2014 Wealth Adviser Leadership Award.”
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