As the premier news service for the wealth management and private banking sector thewealthnet has always enjoyed unrivalled access to senior figures from across the industry, and 2017 was no exception. As the year draws to a close we look back at some of the comments and opinions chief executives have exclusively told thewealthnet over the past twelve months...
In February, Peter Flavel, chief executive of Coutts & Co, said that the 2016 annual results of the bank proved the strategy of focusing of “being more than just a bank” was working. Mr Flavel said the promotion of the bank’s investment management, transactional banking and lending services, in conjunction with the traditional personal private banking services, was “showing great signs of success”. The next month he told thewealthnet, in an interview to mark his first anniversary in the job, that “Our client proposition is crystal clear - we deliver best-in-class banking supported by Coutts 24 and our award winning digital platform, flexible lending, whether that be to help clients purchase a dream home, extending their business and entrepreneurial interests, or sensibly leveraging their investment portfolio.”
David Durlacher, chief executive of Julius Baer International, spoke about the need to ensure that vulnerable clients are protected. “People are living longer and this brings about issues about how we deal with this financially and socially,” he said. “The wealth management sector has put a lot of thought into the financial aspects, i.e. how do we make sure our clients have an income throughout their old age, but it has put little or no thought into the human element. That is to say, how do we deal with clients that are exhibiting signs of cognitive decline? To this end Mr Durlacher launched a pilot scheme at Julius Baer with a group of client facing staff undergoing specific training on cognitive decline. The training was provided by Dr James Warner. Dr Warner is medical director of Red & Yellow Care, a consultant old age psychiatrist at CNWL Foundation Trust and Honorary Reader in Psychiatry at Imperial College London.
Barclays Wealth & Investments has experienced “record levels of client acquisition” so far in 2017, following record highs for 2016, Dena Brumpton, its chief executive, said in November. She also spoke about the creation of Barclays Private Bank & Overseas Services, which sits alongside her division, as a result of the need to meet the requirements of the new ring-fencing rules for retail banks in the UK. Ms Brumpton said she believes the split under ring-fencing rules has been done the best way possible. She said that the approach was based around client choice and the “most suitable way to meet client needs.”
Martin Andrew, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Management, said the business continues to be on the look out for select acquisition targets but that it has a “very high hurdle” before making an acquisition. “We don’t need to make acquisitions – it is not a major driver of growth,” he explained. “Indeed, we could make zero deals in the year ahead, or just a small number.”
In November Arbuthnot Latham exceeded £1 billion in lending for the first time, Ian Henderson, the bank’s chief executive revealed. He said: “We already have in excess of £1 billion of deposits and assets under management, so that completes the family!”