A success story built on keeping things simple

7IM - Zane Hunter

Zane Hunter, Director of Private Clients Scotland, Private Client Team at 7IM, explains his firm’s proud commitment to doing the right thing for clients and the impressive growth this ethos has helped drive.

What is 7IM’s history and how does it stand now in terms of its presence and client base?

7IM was founded in 2002, by seven like-minded individuals looking for a place to invest their own families’ capital, away from the institutional giants of which they had become accustomed. Originally built around providing services to IFAs and intermediaries, 7IM has grown and changed a lot since then, and now has over 300 employees across three offices, and £14bn in assets under management.

Following the success in the intermediary market, over the last five years 7IM has been steadily growing a highly-experienced private client team based in London and in Edinburgh. With all this change since the original seven in a basement office, what hasn’t changed is our commitment in doing the right thing for our clients – listening, responding and keeping things simple.

Who is the ‘typical’ client of 7IM? What is their stage of life and what are they are trying to achieve with their wealth?

At 7IM there is no typical or ideal client. We are as interested in helping those in the final stages of retirement as we are those starting out on the investment journey. Each client is unique, and are treated as such. We don’t attempt to pigeonhole clients with a ‘one size fits all’ approach.  Our team of private client managers and financial planners start with getting to know you and understanding your specific needs, before looking to provide a thorough and holistic approach that matches these needs.

Many of our clients are accumulating wealth in the run-up to their retirement, or using the funds they have built up to have a comfortable retirement. Some are even maintaining the value of their assets to pass on to the next generations.

Many of our clients are accumulating wealth in the run-up to their retirement, or using the funds they have built up to have a comfortable retirement. Some are even maintaining the value of their assets to pass on to the next generations

Our view is that you should receive a similar service whether you are based in the areas surrounding our offices or whether you are in Guildford or Manchester, Glasgow or Aberdeen – in every case, that starts out by us gaining an understanding of what drives you, what you want to achieve, and how we can help you meet those goals.

How would you describe 7IM’s investment ethos and risk management approach?

Our investment approach is to focus on creating a diversified portfolio with the client in mind. As should always be the case in managing a client’s wealth we pay as much, if not more, attention to protecting the real value of your investments as we do to making significant investment returns.

With a highly skilled investment team and an independent risk management team, client investments are continuously monitored to ensure they remain right for you and your objectives.  Using this philosophy, we are frequently able to dampen down any volatility to effectively smooth out the returns delivered to you.

How does 7IM go about devising investment strategies and building portfolios which suit each individual client’s risk-profile and financial goals?

The first step of the client journey is to find out as much as we can about you and your objectives. From there, we tailor a portfolio and the service to match you as an individual.

The first step of the client journey is to find out as much as we can about you and your objectives. From there, we tailor a portfolio and the service to match you as an individual

If your objectives are to keep pace with inflation to maintain the real value of your funds then we will create a portfolio with as little risk as possible to do so. If your objective is adventurous growth (and you have the capacity to do so) we can help you achieve that aim too. Equally, if your objectives include the production of an income stream, we will work with you to ensure that this is as regular as you wish, whilst being tax-efficient.

Your attitude to risk, capacity for loss and how your investments fit in with your other assets are at the forefront of our planning. The key to private client management is a long-term strategy, diversified investments and knowing your client – we aren’t in the business of chasing returns and making a quick buck. Our approach to your invested wealth provides for greater certainty of achieving your objectives.

The key to private client management is a long-term strategy, diversified investments and knowing your client – we aren’t in the business of chasing returns and making a quick buck

How would you describe 7IM’s approach to servicing clients?

Understanding the client is key to the correct investment outcome, both at the start of the relationship and throughout. At 7IM you will have a dedicated private client manager and financial planner (if required) who, after the initial detailed and in-depth meetings will be available to you, whether it be a quick phone call to check in, or an in-depth discussion. They will also meet with you at least once year in person with a structured review process.

Depending on your circumstances, this approach can be tailored to you; if you would prefer more frequent meetings, then your private client manager and financial planner would be happy to accommodate

Depending on your circumstances, this approach can be tailored to you; if you would prefer more frequent meetings, then your private client manager and financial planner would be happy to accommodate. Each manager and planner is supported by a team of assistants, who will also be available to support you, as well as wider input from the investment team. Once we have agreed the approach that suits you best, you can expect us to lead the agenda.

How does 7IM help clients engage more effectively with the management of their wealth? Do you help clients with investment education and research for example?

As each client is unique in their needs, they are also unique in their level of understanding and interest. It is our job as managers to realise this and present information in a way most meaningful to you. Whether it is distilling facts and numbers into a simple chart or bullet points, providing a more in-depth report, or just reassuring you that everything is as it should be or on track to achieve your goals, we will make sure the approach suits you.

As each client is unique in their needs, they are also unique in their level of understanding and interest. It is our job as managers to realise this and present information in a way most meaningful to you

Our investment team provide a steady stream of research and insight articles, as well as quarterly market updates, all of which are written in a way that is easy to understand. Additionally, your private client manager or financial planner (or both, where appropriate) is on call to talk you through any questions or queries you may have.

7IM has a strong track record of developing innovative technology and you will have access to your portfolio online, where you can view current values and performance – a key part of understanding your investments.

What else is distinctive about 7IM?

The founding tenet of 7IM was doing the right thing for the client and that remains our number one priority. It is what shapes our culture and what drives the team on a daily basis. Being guardians of your investments and a trusted adviser is a privilege, not a right. As a result of this approach, 7IM has long term client relationships, where private client managers move from being just that, to so much more.

The founding tenet of 7IM was doing the right thing for the client and that remains our number one priority. It is what shapes our culture and what drives the team on a daily basis

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