CHARLIE HOFFMAN

HSBC PRIVATE BANKING

Category
UHNW Wealth Managers
Company Size
International
Phone number
020 7860 5000
Email address
Charlie.hoffman@hsbcpb.com

A peer observes: ‘Charlie Hoffman is unmatched at providing a personal service while leveraging a huge organisation.’ When Spear’s speaks to Hoffman, the totemic wealth manager is recuperating from a snapped Achilles tendon: ‘I do lots of dangerous sports, sky-diving being one of them — and this was done hopping from one foot to another on the tennis court. But I’m of a pretty sunny disposition,’ he laughs. In fact, Hoffman remains undiminished: a figure of bonhomie, intelligence and charm. No such injury, one feels, could prevent his book of business from growing. ‘We were pleased with the amount we took on last year,’ he says. ‘More importantly, our discretionary portfolios have delivered really good returns. Some of that was due to a positive skew to dollar assets. We also offered a lot of really interesting private equity deals.’ He sees certain challenges ahead: ‘Diversification remains key to managing risks. Finding pockets of value is also becoming increasingly hard for managers.’ He continues to guide clients in the alternative investment space, especially since markets are becoming increasingly difficult to time. Private equity is becoming popular, he adds, although there are caveats along the road as good opportunities are hard to come by. ‘If you stomach the illiquidity, there is a premium there… if you invest with the right private equity managers, you have a very strong hold.’ He sees fintech as being a likely growth area in the mass affluent space, but less so for UHNWs. ‘At the upper end, you will always find the need for face to face contact,’ he says. This is more crucial when the relationship manager moves into the trusted adviser territory with clients with vast amounts at play and little time to spare. ‘I’ve got a billionaire client who told me he never trusted anyone until they’ve been working with him for 14 years. He told me this ten years ago, so I’ve probably got another four years.’ What makes a great wealth manager? ‘A dose of humility helps. You’re never bigger or better than your clients or the team that surrounds you.’

Charlie Hoffman