PRIVATE investors generally have two choices. They can steer themselves through the complex business of choosing and buying funds themselves – something which can be difficult and time consuming.

Or they can opt to take expert advice, ensuring that their portfolio is carefully managed by professionals who take their individual circumstances into account and perform regular rebalancing in a bid to gain maximum returns. Brewin Dolphin offers that expert advice. 

It is a fund management company with a long and distinguished history in looking after its clients’ investments. It has a strong presence in Scotland, with four offices, and its Glasgow operation in particular has grown its business dramatically.

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ONWARDS AND UPWARDS:  Brewin Dolphin has a strong Scottish presence in the fund managament sector with four offices, and its Glasgow operation in particular – led by Head of Office Stephen Martin – has recently  grown its business dramatically.

This has risen by 10 per cent annually in recent years, and by 14 per cent last year. It is confident that this year it will experience even greater growth.

The key to its success lies in the quality, expertise and commitment of its staff. The Glasgow team of 39 people have a strongly embedded culture of excellence and of going the extra mile for customers, who include their own private clients and also independent financial advisors (IFAs), for which they provide a full investment management service.

Brewin Dolphin’s staff have embraced its corporate values  ‘genuine, expert and ambitious’ – and these develop and sustain client and intermediary relationships.

They are not just slogans: each has a real meaning. Genuine covers heartfelt advice, delivered by conscientious people who care and go that extra mile. 

Expert means skilfully facilitating important decisions, while ambitious refers to making the most of life’s opportunities.

As well as taking on three new graduates in 2017, two of the investment managers in the Glasgow office have just been promoted from Assistant Directors to Divisional Directors, reflecting their value to the company. 
Both Scott Allan and Wilson Leggett underwent a stringent review and interview process before being given their new positions. “It’s a selective procedure – promotions aren’t given automatically at Brewin Dolphin.” Wilson explains: “It all starts with a mentoring process – you are allocated a mentor from another office, which is a great way to access support and insights from someone who has walked a similiar path. 

“Your line manager decides if youre ready for the promotion and also has to get agreement from head of office and HR. At which point you are invited to present and conduct a formal interview with senior mamagement in the business. It’s very rigorous process.

“The company wanted to ensure that we know about Brewin Dolphin as a business in terms of its strategy and its vision.”
Scott Allan adds: “When you move up to director level there is a greater expectation of you and you need to know more about the industry generally – things like the challenges, the regulatory environment and pricing. You also have greater levels of responsibility, so the process is pretty thorough. And it’s challenging – for instance, you can’t choose your own topic for the presentation. It is given to you.”
Another vital member of the Glasgow team is Maxine Anderson, who is Brewin Dolphin’s Business Development Manager – Scotland. “The Glasgow office really has been a beacon of success within the company”, she says. 

“We are a winning team. That has a lot to do with Stephen Martin, who heads up the operation here. He joined seven years ago and has defined the strategy. We now have the people and the support to deliver specialist services in areas such as wealth management for partners, corporate advisors, compensation protection servcies, services for family lawyers and our specialist financial advisers partnership team.”
Investment management is a highly competitive industry, and Maxine says that this is reflected internally. “However, it’s a healthy competition – we support each other and work to achieve best practice. It’s hard graft, but we’re all very ambitious and determined.”

Honesty and integrity are also crucial, she adds. “I think the team do a really good job and so do our advisor partners. They like us as people, trust us with their clients and know that we care about them and their clients’ outcomes. This is why we are an award-winning team.”
Wilson acknowledges that Maxine’s role as Business Development Manager has been hugely important to the success of the Glasgow office. “It’s been our main growth area over the last three or four years. We’ve been building on existing and new relationships.”

Maxine added: “Our specialist team deliver various investment strategies to our financial advisor partners, including pensions, at accumulation or drawdown stage. They trust us to look after their clients’ assets on their pension journey.”

One area of activity involves trying to attract younger clients. Scott explains: “Historically, the average customer is well into their retirement. Maxine is working hard at winning younger clients from non-traditional sources. She added: “We are also moving with the times, with our fantastic online services and our app.”

MANAGER'S EFFORTS RECOGNISED BY INDUSTRY PEERS

ONE of the best testaments to a company’s success and the respect in which it is held is the winning of awards. It’s something that staff at Brewin Dolphin’s Glasgow Office are getting used to.

Maxine Anderson is among the latest to pick up a prize, having been voted one of the best Business Development Managers in the UK in the BWD Quality Census, an independent questionnaire in its third year which asks financial advisors how she and her peers are perceived in the marketplace.

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AWARD WINNER: Business Development Manager Maxine Anderson.

Last year, the Financial Advisor Partnership Team also has its excellence recognised by winning the Best Discretionary Fund Manager in Scotland and Northern Ireland award at the Citywire Wealth Manager Regional Stars Awards. This is an important prize as the awards are voted on by independent financial advisers, who recognise the good work.

One particular area of interest to Maxine is doing business with female financial advisers and their clients. “I’m a busy working mum myself, so I have a lot of empathy with others in the same position.

“I also mentor younger females coming into the industry. I want to encourage more of them to join the wealth management industry and to go for promotion. Our Glasgow office has about a 50:50 gender balance, which is good, and Brewin Dolphin are keen to encourage work-life balance. That allows me to be a mum too, and it’s something I’m really grateful for.”

EXPERIENCE COUPLED WITH MODERNITY

REWIN Dolphin combines a venerable history with a 21st century approach to investment management. It can trace its origins back to 1762 and has 28 offices across the UK, the Channel Islands and Ireland, with a Scottish presence in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

The Glasgow office alone has in excess of £1.1 billion of assets under management. The company provides a full discretionary wealth management service for both its IFA and direct clients, and assets such as equities, bonds, OEICs and the property market are constantly monitored by specialised staff.

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This dedicated research function is one of Brewin Dolphin’s strengths, along with the quality of its staff, its strong relationship ethos and its planning for the future.

Its popularity with clients is reflected in the fact that it has a total of more than 100,000 account holders and £36 billion of funds under management.

  • The value of investments can fall and you may get back less than you invested.