It has been two decades since Quadrant Group was formed but we are still asking the same important question: “Why?” When I joined in 2004 and when I took on the role of Managing Director in 2013, the clear ambition for our business was and still is to understand the hearts and minds of our clients and provide them with holistic financial planning. This may seem a bit touchy-feely for a numbers guy like me but it really is the “why” that matters most. Why do we do what we do? Why should clients invest their wealth with us?
We are certainly on the right path to realising our aims. We established our Wealth Partnership around the principles of empirical evidence-based investing so that we could use a robust financial process to help our clients achieve their goals. By spending our time and energy focusing on building our client relationships, we are able to provide insightful, ongoing and flexible planning. The outcomes of investing are often long term, and it is important that our clients experience value throughout our relationship with them.
At Quadrant, the financial planning journey begins with understanding the individual lifestyles of our clients. As part of this process, we use a sophisticated questionnaire developed by FinaMetrica to identify emotional tolerance to risk. Our analysis is led by the use of lifetime cashflow modelling tools, which simulate the effects of pretty much any financial action or change, at any point in time. With these insights, our advisers help clients plan ahead for life’s changes and opportunities.
Through our Investment Committee, we take a great deal of time and care to ensure that our AstutePortfolios are structured to capture the returns on offer in the market. No manager can control the returns of the market. Success lies in a sensible structure with the long-term attributes of each portfolio as building blocks, contributing positively to the overall. However, we must also persist with governance – a very important part of ensuring that we maintain an extremely robust and consistent investment methodology that will deliver the results our clients expect.
Quadrant Group has always been about giving our clients a healthy alternative to the often burdensome worry associated with managing wealth. I talk a great deal about the importance of planning your investments to work for you, rather than what people usually feel as the weight of family and philanthropic stewardship. Much of the role of being a good adviser is really more akin to being an investment coach in helping clients to maintain patience, fortitude and discipline in their investing. You may be surprised that I often persuade clients to get their dream car, yacht, holiday or be philanthropic. I am passionate about the importance of having a bucket list and believe that successful wealth management is about having choices and being able to make proactive decisions.
Management fees and unseen portfolio costs will always make a dent in investor returns. But at Quadrant Group we are advocates of fair and transparent charges, not just in our own company but within the industry as a whole. By reducing platform and management fees we have been able to pass on savings to our clients and are committed to maintaining competitive rates.
There is a lot about technology in the headlines these days. In the last few years a large part of our business investment has gone towards providing greater efficiency, but we do not try to differentiate our business on it. We are focused on our relationships with clients; technology is one tool that we use to enhance our processes, reporting and communications. We have a new back-office system using Intelliflo and state-of-the-art servers. Our website was redeveloped just over a year ago and we have created a monthly email newsletter with regular blog posts, which we hope you have been enjoying. We have embraced social media and are challenging the typical conventions of many traditional advisers by sharing our jargon-free thoughts and ideas, about the need for industry reforms, how regulations may impact your wealth and why our mission is to take the worry out of managing your wealth and encourage you to enjoy a life well lived.
Richard Branson recently said: “If you treat your staff well they will treat your clients well”. This is remarkably true and I hope that anyone who has worked with our staff feels that we have created a family culture within the firm. Jeff Kay, Terry Nemko and Mike Parris (now retired), have been instrumental in finding talent and nurturing our team. They were also successful in managing succession and still hold key roles within the firm. We understand that our staff are important to building a client-centric business. Our continued training and advanced planning qualification programme will ensure that all our advisers will achieve chartered status within two years.
It’s my firm belief that clients should have more adviser time. Ever increasing regulation means that advisers are drawn away from what they do best, advise; so we are strengthening the adviser team with one new appointment in December and another soon after. This will ensure that we go on delivering great client outcomes.
We want to encourage clients to have a greater say in the things that we do. Our plans are to bring about client advisory boards and encourage clients to attend “meet the team” and “meet the manager” events to continue to reinforce the “why” in our business.
We have had such amazing support over the years and I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all our clients, staff and also to our consultants and advisers especially Tim Hale, Liz Pemberton, Julie Lord and Nick Cann.
Dominic Lobo and I recently attended a conference for financial planners and heard a very motivational talk on the subject of remembering to ask “why”. If you are a business leader and are interested, Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why” has a great talk on the subject at TED, which you can watch here.
This article does not constitute financial advice. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial or investment decision. Before making any decision, we recommend you consult your financial planner to take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested. This document may include forward-looking statements that are based upon our current opinions, expectations and projections.