Near Frome, Somerset
Married to Sarah with three grown up children
STARTED AT JM FINN
Where eagles dare
Skiing, particularly in Italy and especially with my son.
iPhone 11 and my near 140 apps.
MISSED LUXURY DURING LOCKDOWN
Having moved to head up the Bristol office last year, what has been your main focus?
The Bristol office is unusual in that most of its investment managers have worked together for over 30 years, which provides a very collegiate atmosphere and an environment where many of us know each other's clients. My focus has been to capitalise on this strong platform to ensure that we are better placed to provide our clients with the excellent standard of service that they have been accustomed, whilst dealing with the various challenges that we are thrown, be it by the markets or regulatory or technological change.
One area which had become increasingly popular over the last few years, and even more so through this pandemic, has been the adoption of paperless reporting through the JM Finn portal, which aside from being more environmentally friendly, avoids the need to deal with sensitive hardcopy paper documents. Another big focus recently was finding a new office, which I am delighted to say we have now moved in to, albeit only with a skeleton staff thanks to the current social distancing guidelines.
Tell us more about your office move?
Having been in offices in Great George Street for over 20 years our move to archiving traditional client files following the introduction of an electronic filing some 15 years ago left us with a large and fairly unusable excess space. A break clause in our lease provided the catalyst for either committing to a major and much needed refurbishment project or to consider moving elsewhere.
Our new offices in the tranquil and beautiful setting of Queen Square, which is close to the railway station, provide us with first-rate client meeting rooms and a more usable floor plate. This offers us an excellent base from which to continue servicing our growing client base and our network of third party professional advisers, for which Bristol is well served, and I know the team is looking forward to welcoming clients and contacts to our new home, as soon as is practical.
What seem to be the biggest financial concerns for your clients?
Clearly, the volatility surrounding the pandemic induced sell-off in investment markets around the world was nothing if not extremely distressing. Historically, dividend income has proved to be robust in the face of other short sharp sell-offs.
However, on this occasion it has provided a catalyst for company boards to reflect on their dividend pay-out ratios as some recognised that they had perhaps become overly fixated on meeting these payments at the expense of continuing to invest sufficiently in their underlying business.
Whilst it has certainly been unpalatable, this may result in our needing to consider the funding of historic income payments by potentially introducing a mix of both income and capital withdrawals. Clearly, this will not be suitable for all clients but is certainly worth discussing with your investment manager.