‘There’s a Warren Buffett quote that’s quite pertinent to a lot of our clients: “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing,”’ recalls the young wealth adviser – now head of wealth planning – from Vestra Private Office.
A relatable rising star, Allister is as conscious of wealth’s meaning as its monetary value. He moved from HSBC Private Bank, where he advised the banks’ biggest clients on wealth planning and international wealth structuring, to Vestra last year. Today he advises UHNWs across the gamut of wealth advisory issues, from family businesses to complex succession and governance requirements.
Allister was particularly attracted the firm’s holistic approach to wealth management, particularly its pairing-up with Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton. The partnership has seen Vestra releasing a monthly series of essays and podcasts based on de Botton’s School of Life over the past year, exploring the intersections between wealth management and philosophy. It’s all about ‘the major talking points in clients’ lives,’ like (non-financial) risk ambition, envy and love, he says. ‘We need to concentrate on understanding how our clients think – what drives them and what they aspire to – this should be at the forefront of what we do. After all, everyone has different motivations and priorities in life, all of which can, and usually will, have a bearing on their financial needs. The better we can understand our clients’ non-financial values, the better we can advise them.’
It is this that led the firm to partner with Alain de Botton’s School of Life to create “A Portfolio of Thoughts”, a series of philosophical essays which explore important life areas. ‘The School of Life is dedicated to exploring life’s big questions and at Vestra we see this as a conduit to developing that deeper understanding of the issues that drive attitudes to wealth. I think this is a unique approach and one that echoes my thoughts on what it means to provide valuable longer term wealth management.’
Allister works alongside the private office team and other specialists to smooth and coordinate ‘all aspects’ of a client’s financial affairs, from advising the family business to complex succession and governance requirements and specific technical advice about complex transactions. He is a chartered financial planner and a chartered member of the Securities Institute, and a fellow of the Personal Finance Society and a full member of STEP.