Tait was one of the first to realise that, following the financial crisis, many UHNWs wanted a family-office-like service without the cost and administrative burden associated with running a private advisory firm. In response, he set up London & Capital’s Private Investment Office, which focuses on some of the firm’s wealthiest clients, mainly hedge fund managers and other professional investors, a ‘mixed blessing’, he says, ‘as you’re working with people who are incredibly knowledgeable. They didn’t want all the frippery and friction and complication of a full family office.’
Launched last year, the office, which has an AUM of $750 million, provides ‘services more akin to a family office’ without ‘the dog walking and the concierge’, says Tait, who personally manages 30 of the unit’s clients.
London & Capital, he adds, have become the ‘investment manager to investment professionals’ who are either too ‘busy making money to manage other areas of their life and wealth’ or legally require someone else to do it for them. Used to being the risk-takers they ‘want their wealth managers to be that voice of reason’.
So from an investment perspective the wealth manager’s style is ‘capital preservation focused’ pointing out that they are ‘not a natural house for chasing risk premiums and illiquidity high returns as most of our clients are much better at doing this than London & Capital’. The minimum portfolio they see is £5 million and they pride themselves on catering to their clients on an individual basis, populating the portfolio directly to help the client ‘feel close to what they own’.
Dealing with money managers can be tough and Tait admits they can be ‘strongly opinionated’ and ‘picky’ (perhaps that’s why he has recently taken up boxing). But the fact that he hasn’t lost a client since the financial crisis — and that many of his clients have given him a mandate across all their assets — is testament to his ability to provide returns.
On the topic of regulation, Tait says, it is ‘absolutely necessary’ admitting that the ‘industry, collectively, has had a lot to answer for’. When he started out it was possible to ‘sign up a client with a one-page form’ and believes ‘we have swung from ridiculously light to ridiculously fraught now with red tape.’ And amid financial repression (quantitative easing, low interest rates and subpar growth), he adds that there is now ‘too much liquidity chasing too few investment opportunities’. So he is deservedly proud of having managed to grow his division by 30 per cent in a little over twelve months.
The charming 40-year-old, who ran his own wealth management firm before joining London & Capital in 2006, is also seen by the board of directors as the future head of the business.
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Source: Best UHNW Wealth Managers