Alan and Gina Miller have been shaking things up since long before Gina hit the headlines with her legal battle against Brexit. After the 2008 financial crisis, the couple saw the need for a ‘radically’ different approach to wealth management, founding SCM Private (now SCM Direct) just a year later. Frustrated with the industry’s lack of transparency, the founders started the True and Fair Campaign in 2012 to force ‘100 per cent disclosure’ of all fees and charges in a single number. But they probably had little idea how much it would stir up the market. In April 2014, the EU passed MiFID II, which will require all investment and pension fund management firms to do just that from January 2018. ‘I’ve heard people say MiFID II won’t affect UK companies after we’ve left the EU — but as we won’t have left by January 2018 this is a pointless argument,’ says Gina. ‘Come what may, it’s happening next year. It will be a significant shift and have real impact on the industry.’ Alan says institutional interest is surging at the firm, but that he expects SCM’s business to benefit once clients find out how much they’ve really been paying elsewhere: ‘January 2018 is the big bang for the fund management industry.’ The founders have significant sums of their own wealth invested in SCM’s portfolios (on the same terms and fees as clients) — portfolios which now enjoy an eight-year outperformance track record unmatched by most competitors. Clients can even make use of SCM’s own cost calculator online, crunching their assumptions, amounts to invest, expected returns on investment and time period. Devotees appreciate the duo’s ‘integrity, honesty and genuine desire to try to produce something better than their peers’, as one says. The Millers won the Spear’s City Champion Award in 2015 for promoting what the judges deemed ‘the higher moral aspirations’ they have for the City and ‘providing an example to others, using their resources for the good of our broad community and society as a whole’.
Alan & Gina Miller