THE Hampshire office of private investment firm Brooks Macdonald (BM) recently reached a major milestone – it now manages funds worth £1 billion for its clients.
Hampshire was BM’s first office outside of London and it began life in a converted barn in Waltham Chase in 2005. Since 2010 it has been based in a bigger barn on the outskirts of Fareham where it has 30 staff.
The office is headed by Howard Crossen, who joined the firm in 2009, and also manages bespoke discretionary portfolios on behalf of a range BM’s private clients, who are referred to them by financial advisers.
In the post crash low interest rate economy their services appear to be in greater demand, explained Howard.
Loss of confidence in banks, in particular, has heralded a period of growth for BM.
“In 2009 there were a lot of people who had run their own portfolios and had been heavily invested in banks who were seeking alternatives and that was a big growth period for us.
“Bank shares dropped and the banks’ asset managers did not perform well. There were more investors who wanted to deal with someone who was independent.”
BM’s clients range from smaller savers to major investors but Howard says a typical client would be a business professional who has “worked hard and saved but wants more out of their working life than a modest pension”.
These are people in their 40s and 50s who are not considering retiring for 20 years or so who can take a long-term view of their investments.
Despite some seismic political changes in the last year Howard says he is cautiously optimistic that global growth and the equity market will both remain strong.
Even the government bond market (which is Howard’s special area of expertise) which has been in the doldrums is more likely to show improvement in the near future, he predicts.
As for Brexit, Howard is confident that behind the rhetoric on both sides there is the will to reach “a deal that suits everyone”.
“I’m sure firms like VW don’t want to lose their share of the UK market. Pragmatism will rule the day.”
Source : DailyEcho