It has been all change at Connor Broadley, with the firm rebranding, doubling its assets and moving to new, larger premises.
The company’s chief executive James Connor (pictured left) and chief investment officer Chris Wyllie (pictured right) were Wealth Manager cover stars in September 2014 and the company has grown significantly since then.
Assets under management have increased from £200 million to £400 million, while assets under advice have grown from £70 million to £150 million. Staff headcount has risen from 18 to 30 over the same period.
Connor and Wyllie talk us through the developments.
What have been the main changes over the last three years?
JC: ‘We rebranded from Connor Broadley Independent Financial Planning to Connor Broadley Wealth Management because we wanted to place more emphasis on the integrated advice and investment management offering.
‘We’ve brought in a chief operating officer and a new marketing director and implemented a new back office.
‘We were in serviced offices, but we’ve moved into new premises on Curzon Street [Mayfair, London], which has added a feel of permanency.
‘We couldn’t be any happier – the business is slowly fulfilling the potential we knew it had.’
What has been the key driver of growth?
JC: ‘Our business has grown from referrals. Our clients originally stemmed from a community of people from advertising agencies and we’ve attracted a lot more like-minded people who have a similar financial status. It has broadened out in creative services and we have people in PR, film and TV.
‘Even without a marketing plan, we’ve been attracting new funds from both new and existing clients and we’ve been growing our assets under management by about £50 million a year.’
Is the planned marketing push and rebrand designed to ramp up growth?
JC: ‘I’m proud of the fact our average clients per adviser is not in excess of 100, like at many firms. We’ve had it capped at 70 to maintain service levels. We have to be more disciplined about who we take on as clients as we build a business for the future.
‘We are a chartered firm and all eight of our financial planners are chartered, and we have great young talent who will go on to have their own clients.’
How has the investment proposition developed since 2014?
CW: ‘The investment process has become more deeply embedded. It is asset allocation-led. People often fret about which fund they should get, but that can be a bit back to front. It’s most important to get the asset allocation right.’