Brexit pushed firms to ‘shift focus’ to UK wealth hot spots – International Adviser

Wealth managers and advice groups have continued to bolster their UK operations over the last few years.

They have created hubs in various counties like Yorkshire and Essex, while some companies have been expanding via office openings in different regions of the UK.

But why has this been the case?

Martin O’Hare, managing director and senior private banker at Mirabaud Group, told International Adviser: “The post-Brexit environment has made it challenging for UK based private banks and wealth managers to look after clients outside the UK. The focus has shifted for many firms to the UK regions.”

Mirabaud has also bolstered its UK wealth management operation with the recent hire of private banker William Ladenburg as director.

O’Hare added: “There are many wealth hot spots in the UK now driven by the success of both public and private businesses operating across a whole range of industries and sectors. The intergenerational transfer of wealth also will play a key part in the growing need for regional presence.

“Despite the welcome advances in technology that we have seen during the pandemic, face-to-face meetings with clients are key to building successful long-term ‘trusted adviser’ based relationships.

“Technology has also enabled the establishment of low-cost satellite offices to support business development and client-facing people without the need for expensive support functions as these services can be provided remotely from central hubs thereby generating economies of scale for banks and wealth managers.”

Technology in the wealth industry

The return to face-to-face meetings and rise of hub strategies are against the industry narrative of a technology-focused future for the wealth sector.

But tech has a big part to play in the future of the industry. Clients in retirement and customers in their late 20s are going to have different needs and wants from a wealth company, including digital tools.

O’Hare added: “Technology adoption will most certainly be a key driver to the future of wealth management. Technology drives service delivery and will improve client experience.

“Clients are of course always going to be at different stages of technology adoption although as we have seen across many industries the trend is for more digitisation and that means wealth managers need to be current and able to meet the needs of an evolving client base. The area that is less clear is around advice.

“Many platforms allow clients to execute trades and build portfolios in a very cost-effective manner. There will always be a need from clients for sound investment and financial advice. There are still question marks around the use of …….