London & Capital - Best UHNW Team (including private investment offices)
London & Capital won a Wealth Adviser award in 2015 and its business has seen significant growth since then, with assets under management going from GBP2.4 billion to over GBP3 billion today.
Iain Tait, Partner and Head of the Private Investment Office, reports that last year was a record year for the firm. “We have grown across all of our three core divisions,” Tait says. Assets are fairly evenly split between Tait’s Private Investment Office business, looking after ultra-high net worth and complicated international families; the US Family Office business and the Institutional business, which manages money for captive insurance firms.
Tait explains that the institutional mandates came out of the private client business and has been growing steadily since launch 15 years ago.
“It was born out of our investment style which is one that errs on the side of capital preservation,” he says. “We have stayed true to the Private Investment Office approach we set up in 2013 aimed at larger, more complicated clients who needed more attention and a more sophisticated investment offering.”
The Private Investment Office business has grown from GBP400 million back in 2015 to just under GBP1 billion today.
The Private Investment Office team that supports these clients has also grown from nine to 12, including Simon Reed who recently joined to build on their relationship capacity.
“I have always been proud of the fact that the Private Investment Office has been strong on the ratio of portfolio managers and relationship managers to the number of clients we look after – it’s something that’s very important to me. Too many people covering too many accounts is something I see industry wide. I look after 20-25 clients and am ably supported by portfolio managers which means I have a strong relationship with clients and we can give them the attention they need.”
They tend to meet with clients at least four times a year and a lot of the reporting is bespoke. “We have very loyal clients and are in the fortunate position that they refer to us,” he says. He comments that over the last three years the biggest changes have been the increasing levels of uncertainty as we have moved even later into the cycle.
“But if we look at a situation where wealth managers are increasingly struggling with additional regulatory requirements, plus the backdrop of political uncertainty and an investment cycle which is long in the tooth, these all bring an all-pervasive uncertainty in meetings. It seems industry-wide that clients feel that we are in a less stable environment than for a long time.”
Tait believes that the answer is to continue to be in front of clients. “I would rather be told a client doesn’t want to see me for the pre-summer review because that tells me he or she can go away comfortable in the knowledge that we are doing our best for them”.
He also believes that happy staff means happy clients and says: “It’s been an exciting time doubling the business in five years, working with fantastic people and fantastic clients. We have a high number of fellow finance professionals as clients which is a great privilege.”