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.
Ramzy Rasamny explains Plurimi Wealth’s offering and why its style of independent advisory investment management appeals to international entrepreneurs in particular.
He is the chief executive and co-founder of the Plurimi Group after a 25-year private banking career with some of the world’s largest institutions.
Plurimi Wealth started in January 2008 and was really born out of requests from my clients for me to manage their money on an independent basis. [Rasamny was working with international ultra high net worth clients at a big brand private bank]. After having been with this institution for a long time I realised that while clients liked the safety and security of a big private bank they liked having their investments managed on an independent basis. That is where it all started from.
In terms of geography, we have a lot of clients who are resident non-domiciled in the UK and we also have many clients from Eastern and Northern Europe, South East Asia and the Middle East. Our main offices are based in London and this is important because it’s always been a hub for our clients. They tend to pass through London at least once or twice a year and so they get the chance to come and see us easily then. Being in London is a great advantage.
We also have a Gibraltar branch, which houses our wealth structuring division. Our head of legal and our chief financial officer sit in Gibraltar and we recently received our licence from the Financial Services Commission there. We have already hired two bankers for Gibraltar who both chose to move from the UK to Gibraltar for the lifestyle. We expect to attract more young bankers to the Gibraltar office for this reason. In fact, overall we are aiming to double our number of bankers over the next twelve months.
Clients tend to see us as a breath of fresh air – as someone different, someone who is not inside a bank and who can give them much wider exposure to investments by virtue of our reach. Clients look to us to diversify their views a little bit and to give them a different perspective to a banker who might be constrained to their own institution’s view. It’s very much about partnership and the breadth of the platform.
We can show clients different products from all the investment banks and so give them an institutional-type service. In the financial world today, I don’t think you are doing yourself any favours by tying yourself to just one bank. You need to see everything out there and through us you can do that. We’ll show you everything that’s relevant to you and what you want to achieve, and that sits well with your profile. We can show you products from every single bank, which you perhaps wouldn’t ordinarily see. Our strapline is “Specialist Enterpreneurial Wealth” because all entrepreneurs see the value of this very, very clearly.
Our typical client is a wealth creator, an entrepreneur, who has made money and has either sold their business or still actively holds the business but has substantial liquid wealth as well.
Since our service is advisory, our clients tend to know the financial markets very well and are very savvy about investments. Apart from capital appreciation, clients come to us largely for yield enhancement and on average they tend to allocate around 30% of their investable wealth to us. Our approach to investments is to talk to the client to gain an understanding of what they can sensibly achieve and then to propose to them ideas in the liquid financial markets that can help them to meet that goal. The solution could be a loan portfolio, it could be a structured note or it could be a global macro hedge fund, for example.
Many clients are also looking to do some pretty interesting things with their investments. For example, some tell us to look for certain private investments – like companies which need funding and are offering equity – or they might ask us to look to buy or sell a commercial property like a hotel.
Every client has a risk profile and we profile them extensively. We have what we call an acceptance booklet, which is an extensive questionnaire about a client’s investment experience; their investment objectives; how much risk they are willing to take; their attitude to volatility; their attitude to any drawdown on the portfolio and so on – basically, all the questions which flush out the client’s real attitudes to risk.
Over and above that, because of our model and being an UHNW house, we have to get to know the client and market to them over an extensive period of time initially. During this period we get to know the client very well, talking about Plurimi and what we do, and about what they want to do and what their needs are. Of course, our bankers are also already very senior. Our most junior bankers have at least ten years of experience before joining Plurimi, so they are all very experienced in “reading clients” and knowing what their profile is.
Think of us as a mini private bank. We offer every service a private bank offers, bar custody as we use the major custodians for that. We have counterparty agreements with pretty much all of the investment banks, so what you get is the safety and security of a private bank but with real reach: we go out to offer you all the different services of the institutional investment banks. While we don’t offer some services ourselves, the banks with whom we custody do. Our clients custody with the private banks and through those private banks we can offer it all, with everything managed by us.
In terms of our knowledge base, we have a lot of esoteric expertise within the team, but we also seek expertise from the market too. We have certain trusted advisers that we can go to for every area that is not within our main expertise. We also have a great professional network of lawyers and accountants, along with people who can arrange finance and property search, for example. Things may not be in our main business areas, but if a client asks us to help them find a property or whatever else we can certainly help them.
We are very keen to help educate our clients and their families if they wish. For example, we had a client who wanted his sons to start looking at his portfolio with a view to them taking it over eventually. So, for six months, for two hours after work twice a week, they came to the office for us to educate them. They had no idea of financial markets initially so over a six-month period we taught them everything to do with investment management from the basics up: the things to watch out for, how to read portfolios and manage investments; the risks of investing; equities versus bonds; currencies, commodities and funds, and all the pros and cons of everything.. Now they are really into it, they pick up on everything and they are really asking the right questions. We always say how impressed we are by how they did and as we expand we’d like to do a lot more of this type of thing.
If you’d like to start a conversation with Plurimi Wealth please contact the Find a Wealth Manager team HERE. They will ensure you get direct access to the investment professional who matches your profile.