Lives Hurstbourne Priors, Hampshire
Education Radley College and Exeter University
Started at JM Finn 2009
Favourite Film Withnail & I
Dream holiday Somewhere with no ‘phone reception and I can forget the day of the week. The Isle of Mull or the South Luangwa, Zambia fit the bill!
As the branch head for JM Finn’s latest office what do you see as the main benefits to having regional offices and why specifically was Winchester chosen as a location?
As digital communication has improved, where my desk is situated has become less important. Being based outside of London makes it easier to meet more clients face to face, whether in their home or the office. Winchester has a strategic location and it is not difficult to see why it is the ancient capital of England. On the other hand, the train up to London takes less than an hour, so I like to think we have the best of both worlds.
Geographically, Winchester fits well into the distribution of our existing offices in an area where we have many clients. We have a number of staff who live locally and so it is certainly convenient, whilst the city is well serviced by professional intermediaries.
In your experience what are your clients’ main financial concerns?
The concerns tend to vary for different ages. Retirees tend to want to explore how to efficiently transfer wealth to the following generations. Generation X have pension concerns and school fee funding to contend with, whilst younger investors may be focussed on the housing ladder. All of these thoughts are best picked up and explored when we have the opportunity to meet with clients and thanks to our wealth planning capabilities we are able to address all aspects of a client’s financial concerns.
A common theme amongst those clients who are taxpayers is the fear of a Corbyn-led government, although younger clients tend to be more ambivalent. From an investment perspective my clients’ portfolios are fairly well insulated in that they are often global in nature so have tended to benefit from weak sterling. Of course, there is not much we can do about personal taxation rates but I am ever hopeful that these fears will not become reality.
What do you see as JM Finn's key strengths as a wealth management firm?
I believe it is key that, due to having investment managers involved in senior management, we are able to retain our focus on who we work for, namely our clients. Whilst inevitably we have to embrace regulation, taking a long term view and always acting in our client’s best interests, in turn stands us in good stead.
I also think it is important that our communication is clear, particularly when markets are volatile. Our approach to bespoke portfolio management ensures that our clients’ investments are genuinely suitable for them, which is increasingly rare in an industry which has often yielded to the efficiencies offered by the sausage machine approach.