In the first of a new series, we talk to the heads of leading private banks to discover what brought them into the industry and where they think it is heading. This week we talk to Liz Bottomley, managing director of private banking at Arbuthnot Latham.
Why did you choose to go into private banking?
I have always been interested in finance and owned my own shares. I like talking to people and hearing how they have been successful and made their money, so private banking seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine the two.
What do you love most about your job?
What I love most is the team I work with and what we have managed to build so far at Arbuthnot Latham.
Over the last five years we have built our brand within the private banking space, offering our clients a one-stop-shop covering lending, financial planning advice and investment management delivered from a central point of contact.
We are privileged in that we really have the chance to shape the future of the bank rather than implementing someone else’s strategy. I’m also proud of the fact that we have time to spend with our clients to really get to know them and understand their goals and aspirations.
What is the next big thing in private banking?
We are always looking at how the use of technology will impact the private banking space and how we should best use technology to enhance the client experience.
We believe the relationship is key and will continue to drive our business forward. As part of this we are upgrading our investor portal to enable access via tablets and mobile phones.
Banker or tanker – which asset classes or investment vehicles do you see as the next big thing and the one to avoid?
The recent sell off in US investment grade bonds could present an interesting entry point. On the negative side, we are uncertain about the value in owning gold ETFs as interest rates start to rise in the US.
Have you seen the use of alternatives in art, wine and silver becoming more attractive as an asset class to your clients?
Our clients have always enjoyed other asset classes and over the last few years some have also proven to be particularly good investments. Many of our clients have an interest in, or investment in, classic cars and this has always been a key focus for us. With the purchase of our Renaissance Asset Finance business last year, the finance of such cars offers our clients another opportunity.
Overall, such asset classes are of interest to clients as they provide enjoyment and another touch point to their lifestyle and personal interests – and perhaps an adrenalin rush in the case of those who race the cars.
Where does private banking fit in today’s society of brand awareness and the move into digital and banking?
I am confident that there continues to be a place for private banking in a world where we are creating many new high net worth individuals, both men and women.
While there is a space for digital and faceless banking, private banking is based on trust evolving over time, rather than being transaction-led.
I believe busy clients will continue to appreciate a guiding hand helping them with their finances and thereby allowing them to get on with their lives with peace of mind.