Bandish Gudka has enjoyed another record year at LGT Vestra, having built his book from scratch to nearly £300 million since joining six years ago. He’s picked up £60 million in the past year alone – the highest growth in assets at the firm in 12 months.
The last six months have been particularly busy, he tells Spear’s, due in large part to the regulatory changes to taxation legislation which have affected his international client base. Luckily for his UHNW clients, Gudka knows exactly what he’s doing. ‘A lot of my work has centred around making sure my client’s portfolios are up-to-scratch in terms of how they are structured,’ he explains. As a result, he works in close conjunction with tax advisors and consultants. ‘The work involves me going beyond my day-to-day remit, which I’m happy to do to ensure my clients receive the necessary duty of care,’ he says.
A partner of the £8.3 billion AuM firm since 2016, Gudka is particularly experienced working with HNWs and UHNWs from emerging markets, including many Tier 1 investors, upon which topic he has contributed to several government consultations.
He is a strong proponent of providing wide-ranging advice to his clients. ‘We should be tasked with educating clients, and giving them context, but it’s a conversation many aren’t having,’ he says. ‘Many of my clients trust me implicitly to invest their money, and although that’s a great endorsement to what, I feel they should know how their money is being invested because ultimately they’ve worked really hard to earn it and grow. I’m a big believer in education and also helping that next generation and seeing the transition of wealth, seeing grow and be preserved.’
Gudka tells Spear’s a maxim other wealth managers would do well to remember: ‘Benchmarks aren’t everything, they’re a starting point.’
He was recently instrumental in reconciling the next generation of a fragmenting UHNW family via mediation, recovering £80 million of mismanaged assets.
An award-winning sitarist who has played for the Queen and for film scores, Gudka has climbed Kilimanjaro (without water) for a water charity – in addition to speaking seven languages.
The main challenge facing the sector is the move towards automated wealth management, with a lot of institutions using new systems to categorise clients and manage their portfolios as a way of cutting costs. ‘It’s a budget exercise,’ he explains. ‘But ultimately a machine doesn’t have a conscience. Our clients are people, and only a human can relate to people.’
As regards Brexit Gudkha is in no doubt that London is going to continue as a global financial centre, and that the wealth management sector won’t feel the impact. ‘We govern so tightly and that’s stood us in good stead,’ he says. ‘I can see that from the influx of capital from my international clientele in the last year – my AUM is better than it’s ever been before.’