Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register free for our breaking news email alerts with analysis and cutting edge commentary from our award winning team. Registration only takes a minute.

A spotlight on the only private office in Scotland

1 Comment
A spotlight on the only private office in Scotland

It has been 18 months since Brian O’Connor and Angus Jack took a leap of faith and set up North Capital in Edinburgh.

‘We’ve had a substantial start and have been rewarded by amazing client loyalty,’ O’Connor said. ‘We had a list of target clients we thought our service was appropriate for and every single one of them has joined us.’

The duo left UBS Wealth Management to launch their own business in February 2016 and have so far hired two analysts, Katie MacRaild and Daniel Brawley, as well as an office manager.

Aside from the core team of five, the company also employs consultants who specialise in real estate and hedge funds. This is because, O’Connor says, the client profiles give them the opportunity to consider investments in alternative, less liquid assets.

The company does not disclose assets under management or client numbers, but it targets clients with between £10 million to £100 million, offering bespoke portfolios, aiming to stay away from the ‘cookie-cutter’ model portfolio approach.

‘We have an investment philosophy where we believe investment management between liquid and illiquid classes is driven by clients who have profiles that mean they have more money than they are going to spend for the rest of their lives,’ he said.

‘Because our entire market is clients with £10-£100 million they can afford the illiquidity premium. There is a lot of education around our asset allocation policy and we try to populate portfolios with interesting opportunities we find in the market.’

O’Connor and Jack consider their operation to be the only private office in Scotland at the moment. But why is that?

‘I think there is a healthy degree of cynicism of new entrants coming into the Scottish market,’ O’Connor explained. ‘It takes time to build trust. If I compare the Scottish market and other regional markets as a sector outside of London, I see London as a much more transactional place, whereas the Scottish market is much more relationship driven.

‘If you are a new incumbent trying to come into Scotland with an attitude of “I’m only going to look after £10 million plus wealth”, you’re not going to have much traction for a long period of time.’

But he added that because the pair have been working in Scotland for a long time, latterly for 10 years at UBS, when asking clients to move across it ‘wasn’t a huge leap of faith for them to trust us’.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play CEO Tapes: dangerous data and great technology

CEO Tapes: dangerous data and great technology

In the third part of our latest series the debate turns to technology and the huge impact it is having on the fund management industry.

1 Comment Play Quilter CEO on IFAs, robos & his own DB transfer

Quilter CEO on IFAs, robos & his own DB transfer

In the final part of our interview with Paul Feeney, the Quilter chief executive declares that the government has 'left the ring' on savings policy, rounds on robo-advice, and reveals his own experience of the DB transfer market.

Play CEO Tapes: ESG - we need to get better at the 'G'

CEO Tapes: ESG - we need to get better at the 'G'

In the second part of our CEO series, we explore the burgeoning ESG concept with fund bosses outlining how they try to make a difference.

Read More
Wealth Manager on Twitter