This year marks thewealthnet's inaugural Top Investment Consultants. The aim of the initiative is to recognise and celebrate the best in this field in the UK and Crown Dependencies. These consultancies have been selected because they were consistently cited as leaders by professionals who work with them in the sector and through data collected by thewealthnet. We hope this community will grow and prosper in support of the wealth management industry and we look forward to hearing further recommendations for consultancies who wish to make themselves discreetly known to thewealthnet's professional audience.
Asset Risk Consultants
Established in 1995, Asset Risk Consultants (ARC) has 14 directors based in London, Guernsey, Jersey and Toronto, with 40 consultants in client-facing roles. They typically advise on liquid investments across all major asset classes, although illiquid assets may also be included as part of an overall investment strategy. With current assets under advice at around $12 billion, ARC serves around 100 family groups, with a typical consultant: client ratio of 10:15. Described as "really helpful" by one private client accountancy firm, the company provides consulting and software services to trustees, investment managers, private banks, and IFAs. In addition, it develops a suite of applications, including SAS Publisher, allowing users to generate factsheets analysing portfolios, funds and models versus benchmarks, selected peers, and sector groupings. Furthermore, the company offers outsourcing services, including performance analysis reports, and aggregation and attribution services, manager due diligence, and private client indices. Stephen McMahon is managing director of Jersey and also sits on the PAM Judging Panel as sub-committee chair. He holds the Securities and Investment Institute Diploma, is a chartered fellow of the same institute, and was recently awarded the chartered wealth manager designation.
With Chris Jones as managing director and head of investment advisory, bfinance helps clients design their investment strategy and portfolio mix. This could be anything from checking if their portfolio is taking enough risk to achieve their return objectives through to suggesting ways to diversify more effectively or save fees through restructuring. Founded in 1999, the firm uses proprietary models to help clients assess the levels and drivers of risk and return in their portfolio. They have a range of tools, including Portfolio Risk Solutions, which helps test the potential benefits of any proposed changes. bfinance will analyse manager level or holdings level data to identify hidden exposures, correlations or overlaps. They use this information to work with our clients on testing the effectiveness of their existing allocation, as well as the potential diversification benefits of any new asset classes. Mr Jones has over 20 years investment management experience with specialism in hedge funds, having previously spent seven years as chief investment officer of Key Asset Management, a multi-billion fund of hedge funds.
Having created investment management portfolio strategies for over 40 years, Cambridge Associates works with more than 200 private clients in 25 countries around the world, developing tax-aware strategies, plan for generational needs, and identify beneficial trust structures. Chris Ivey heads up the firm’s UK private client practice. The investment teams draw from a pool of more than 30,000 global funds that a dedicated research team considers suitable for investing. With almost 200 researchers around the world, focuses not only on blue-chip managers, but also on finding emerging, niche ideas. Cambridge Associates also provides the experience of working with a trusted advisor along with the expertise of an institutional fiduciary. The firm’s coordinated investment and fiduciary services allow the smooth managing of assets for wealth preservation, estate planning, and intergenerational transition needs. Fiduciary services are provided by the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Cambridge Associates Fiduciary Trust, LLC.
Chawker & Co
Described by owner Edward Goodchild as the "time share version" of an independent family office, Chawker primarily serves four groups of people it serves since its incorporation in March 2011: those more senior in age, trustees, divorcees and widows. The firm is a purely advisory business, with no products and is client-objective focussed, with the firm charging on time over assets. Mr Goodchild comes from an investment management and private banking background. He spent ten years as an institutional money manager at F&C Investments, before entering the world of private banking and working with firms including Lombard Odier, UBS and Coutts. Mr Goodchild said: “I find the best multi-asset class discretionary managers I can, pick a blend of them for clients, and then oversee the whole “financial orchestra” so it works harmoniously together.” The firm aims to bridge the ‘divide’ in aims between institutional asset managers and private clients.
Established in 2005 with James Painter as chief executive, Enhance Group manages £20 billion of assets under review across 12 jurisdictions with full service offices in Jersey, London and the Cayman Islands. Mr Painter and his partners, Richard Sayers and Oliver Mourant, were invested early on in the fusion of FinTech to wealth management services. Enhance created a portfolio monitoring process, which allowed trustees to discharge their regulatory responsibilities in relation to portfolio monitoring, and demanding stronger capabilities from their investment service providers. Enhance Group has now become a Jersey-grown FinTech business, offering investment reporting, wealth consultancy and also treasury services to corporate trustees, fund managers, charities and private clients across the world. Mr Painter is a fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. He has worked in the financial services sector for 20 years, starting with a data inputting role and progressing through to discretionary portfolio management before co-founding Enhance in 2005.
Hanson Investment Consulting
Edward Collins, managing director and chief investment officer co-founded Hanson Asset Management (under which the Consulting arm lies) in 2010 with Robert Hanson and Patrick Teroerde. The firm is an independent, with no in-house managed funds or investments and are small, close-knit and flexible with regard to both operating structure and service model. The investment policy committee consists of the directors of Hanson, chief investment officer and Hanson Research Department, and external market advisers. John MacDonald is director and investment consultant, with Daragh O’Sullivan as head of investment management. Mr Collins was a fund manager at New Star Asset Management in London from 2002-2009. In 2006 he was appointed lead manager of a long only growth fund, which invested in mid- and large-cap UK, listed companies before his time at Hanson.
International Asset Monitor (IAM)
Established in 1987, International Asset Monitor (IAM) was created by Michael Strachan, after he had previously worked in setting up the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the State General Reserve Fund in the Sultanate of Oman. IAM’s advisory service is designed for a single investment portfolio or a group of related portfolios where clients offered bespoke investment guidelines and objectives. A dynamic investment structure is then designed to contain risk at an appropriate level whilst still ensuring sufficient flexibility to maximise returns. The firm has a trustee service is designed for the professional trustee and provides many of the benefits of the advisory service but across the trustee’s entire client base. The service enables the intermediary to meet all of its fiduciary responsibilities for the management of its clients’ investments through our well-established systems, procedures and institutional-quality advice. Mr Strachan’s experience in the Middle East where he managed one of the largest sovereign wealth fund portfolios, was adopted and implemented at IAM, where a combination of direct investment across major asset classes and segregated portfolios managed by leading external managers on specialist mandates is their approach. With 39 years’ investment experience, before working for ADIA and Government of Oman Mr Strachan worked as an investment manager with Guardian Royal Exchange in London.
JTFM was founded by Richard Jennings and Chris Tottle in 2014, after working alonside each other at Schroders for nearly five years. Mr Tottle began his career as a portfolio manager & private banker at Schroders from 1997 to 2002, whilst Mr Jennings was an executive director of Schroder Investment Management and a director of their private bank Schroder & Co. Both ended up working at GAM and Triple Point Investment Management before founding JTFM, with Mr Jennings having been a client director at GAM for six years and also spent three years at Rothschild Wealth Management. Advising UK-based and international clients, JTFM Consulting works closely with clients' other professional advisers and advises on tax efficient investing, multi-asset class portfolio management, formulating strategic asset allocation policies, direct stock, fund and product selection and structuring.
PAM Awards Judge Stuart Davies is a director of LJ Athene Investment Advisors in London with over 20 years’ experience of providing investment and financial planning advice for wealthy families, individuals and trusts. The firm has five consultants, who are all senior members of the business and shareholders, who are supported by a larger research team. LJ Athene specialises in all liquid assets and funds, including hedge funds and other alternatives, real estate and farmland. With total assets under advisement at $2.2 billion, the firm advises on 23 clients including a number of family groups. Mr Davies advises a large number of ultra high net worth individuals, trusts and other organisations in the UK and overseas.
Mercer Investment Consulting was founded in 1975 and provides industrial advisory services to corporate, institutional, foundations, trustees, and endowment client segment. The firm focuses on asset liability management, financial analysis and risk management, investment manager search and evaluation, and retirement plans. The firm also provides monitoring of strategy and investment management against objectives. Mercer’s client base mostly consists of large institutional investors, such as corporate pension plans, endowments and foundations. However, Mercer has recently seen a rise in financial services firms looking for advice to enhance their end-client investment propositions, particularly in Europe. Mr Andrew Kirton is head of consultancy in Europe, and has over 25 years of experience in the investment consulting industry. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in industrial economics from Nottingham University and is a qualified investment analyst.