Date office opened: 1995

Group assets under management: £42 bn

Group number of clients: 183,000

Top three fund picks:

  • ManGLG Undervalued Assets: 

Henry Dixon is an excellent, pragmatic manager who is very driven

  • Fidelity Emerging Markets: 

Nick Price knows how to get the best out of his analyst team and is happy to invest away from the crowd

  • Crux European Special Situations: 

Richard Pease is a classic stock picker who knows his market inside out

Q&A with Kevin Doran, chief investment officer and managing director, AJ Bell, Manchester (pictured below):

What is your typical client demographic?

Our typical client is male, aged between 50 and 65 and resides in South East England.

What differentiates your region?

Manchester is the UK’s second city, so coupled with our London office it allows us to gain access to two major urban areas. It’s the birthplace of the industrial revolution, it’s where Rolls met Royce, it’s where the atom was first split and where the first computer was built. It’s home to City and United and it gave us Oasis and Joy Division, as well as the world famous Halle Orchestra. And if you want to get away from it all, four of the UK’s best national parks are on the doorstep.

What challenges does your area face?

Manchester is at the forefront of the Northern Powerhouse and is leading the way with the digital revolution. This brings challenges, such as ensuring investment in infrastructure can meet this growth, as well as ensuring the jobs market is sufficiently skilled to meet the exigencies of new emerging technologies.

What’s the best thing about living in your area?

Having access to the Lake District, Peak District and Snowdonia all within 90 minutes.

What is your office motto?

‘Outcomes not inputs’ and ‘making investment easy’.

Are you bullish or bearish?

Bearish on bonds and bullish on equities as a result.