Rupert Webb joined the wealth management industry after a stint at Rothschild before joining WHIreland in Manchester, where the firm’s roots are firmly based, in 2010.
The investment manager, who recently moved to the firm’s head office in the City of London, manages the wealth of a portfolio of private clients. ‘I am delighted to have gained a number of new client relationships over the past year both through referrals from my existing clients and from new relationships with external advisers such as lawyers and accountants,’ he says. ‘I am eager to expand my network in the South East whilst maintaining the strong ties to the North West which I have built over the past years.’
Webb manages the investment portfolios of a broad range of clients from young entrepreneurs to trust structures. Where tax-planning issues are concerned, he is able to draw upon expertise from WHIreland’s highly experienced Wealth Planning team, to create ‘a holistic wealth management plan aimed at securing the client’s financial future’.
Webb has a conscientious approach to clients: ‘I always treat them as I would want my parents or grandparents to be treated by a wealth manager – I feel this has stood me in good stead.’ His favourite aspect of the role, in fact, is finding out about client goals and what drives them. ‘In a world that is becoming increasingly complex and impersonal, I think we have to hold on tightly to these types of relationships.’
He worries that in the wider industry, there has been a technology-driven ‘race to the bottom’ with concern to fees and the quality of advice to private clients. ‘Discretionary investment management is at the core of what we do and I believe our approach to focusing on a quality advice-led service continues to stand us in good stead. Whilst the impersonal nature of robo-advice may be suitable for some clients, there will always be a need for professionally managed portfolios where the client has the ability to speak directly to the investment manager who manages their wealth.’ However, he assures that the technological scene is also one to watch out for, as he calls it an ever-changing landscape that is ‘ripe with opportunities’.
The talented young adviser, who was voted as one of Citywire’s 30 Under 30, is part of a wider investment team based across the UK and in the Isle of Man. He is also part of the investment team responsible for the day-to-day management of the firm’s Navigator Portfolio Service – a discretionary investment offering aimed specifically at clients with £20,000 upwards.
Born in the UK, although half French, Rupert recalls his encounter with a Francophobic client. ‘He asked me not to invest anything into French companies as he hated the French – I decided not to let him know that I was half French,’ he laughs.