Since joining Coutts in 2009, Alan Higgins has held a number of roles including as head of multi-asset investing, head of investment strategy and chief investment officer for the UK. Prior to wealth roles he had an institutional fixed income background, including managing money for sovereign wealth funds and central banks. The CIO has more than 25 years of experience in portfolio management, including senior roles in fixed income portfolio management and working for a multi-strategy hedge fund. He is also a non-executive director of Nestlé’s UK and Swiss pension fund management companies.
With 25 years of portfolio management under his belt, Higgins now leads the investment team, which works on both discretionary and multi asset investment portfolios ranging from 100 per cent fixed income to equity growth mandates. Higgins is pleased with how the past 12 months have gone in his department. ‘Our investment approach and performance has continued to work well,’ he says. ‘We have maintained a modest equity overweight and added to exposure in early 2018 while asset allocation and stock and bond selection has added value.’ He notes a number of trends including the clear move towards more passive investing, and lower cost investing in general. ‘This will only continue,’ says Higgins, who says he ‘[loves] the challenge of investing and having to re-focus after inevitable periods when investment performance is challenged.’ And Higgins has a very clear professional mantra: ‘No matter what the outcome is, from very good to sometimes disappointing, take a stoical approach to investing.’
A mathematics graduate and CFA charter holder, Higgins previously worked at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management where he specialised in asset allocation, fixed income and alternative investments. Other previous experience includes senior roles in fixed income portfolio management and working for a multi-strategy hedge fund.