‘We’ve had a good 12 months across both investment returns and business development. The dramatic expansion of direct investing activity has been very exciting,’ says Ian Barnard, one of three founding partners at the revered Mayfair boutique. The firm’s clients include individuals, families, trusts and endowments – and Barnard obviously relishes the complexity of the work. ‘I enjoy being in the privileged position of helping to run a business. And I find meeting, talking to and trying to understand the needs of clients to be fascinating,’ he explains. Barnard is clearly proud of what the firm has achieved. ‘Since being founded the firm has invested over $6 billion of client money, grown to 40 employees and 12 clients, and currently stands at $2.5 billion AuM,’ he enthuses, pointing to the firm’s remarkable ability to pitch for, win, and keep some of the most rarefied work in the London private client world. Does he note any shifts in the wealth management landscape? ‘My sense is that the spotlight of regulatory scrutiny has firmly moved from the banks and wholesale financial markets to asset managers and investment consultants.’ A former soldier and diplomat with a history degree from Oxford, Barnard chairs the firm’s Investment Committee and is a member of the Client Portfolio Committee, Asset Allocation Committee and Risk Committee, as well as leading the firm’s direct investment advisory business.