We met with Investment Manager (and Head of Office) ‘Craig Allison’, to find out more about WHIreland and their Canford Cliffs branch.
Can you tell our readers a little about the company’s heritage?
WHIreland is a long established financial services company which was founded by William Henry Ireland. Our roots are firmly based in Manchester and the first railway boom of the 1830s with William Henry joining the Railton family who were a prominent Manchester stockbroking family, at the age of fourteen. John Railton was one of the founding members and first Chairman of the Manchester Stock Exchange in 1836. The firm was family run until the 1970s before Jack Ireland retired. So you see, our company has a deep-rooted and extensive background within the financial sector.
We established the Canford Cliffs branch in March 2012. We wanted to base ourselves in the heart of the community, which is why we chose this office, just off of the main high street, surrounded by locals and independent businesses. We are very fortunate to be based in the Village, a stone’s throw from the beautiful beaches.
Who makes up the team at this local branch?
The team is headed up by myself and I am supported by Investment Managers, Robert Matthews and Rob Lambert and consultant Martin Longland. Our combined experience totals an incredible 80 years’ worth of knowledge in wealth management. I mustn’t forget the great support we receive from our administration team, Jenny Andrews and Gwen Brown.
We manage wealth for a diverse range of clients including; individuals, trusts, pension funds, charities and corporates both as direct clients and indirectly through introductions from professional advisers. Although our clients are based across the UK and even internationally, we are based here to meet the investment needs of clients principally across the South West including Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, Wiltshire and Somerset.
What are the benefits of using a wealth management company such as yourselves?
There are three main reasons. First and foremost we offer a personalised service. Everyone has different needs and/or intentions when it comes to their wealth; no two are the same, which is why we tailor our service to the individual.
The advice we give or the action we take, is without any allegiances or biases. We are truly impartial, which means that we fully focus our attention on delivering the most appropriate portfolio tailored to clients’ individual requirements.
We are fully aware that for some people, investments can be a daunting prospect. With our significant experience and proven track record, we do everything we can to mitigate investment risk whilst growing our clients’ wealth. Global investment markets have experienced a great deal of turbulence over the past five years and by seeking professional investment advice, clients have the reassurance that the adviser they employ is properly regulated, qualified and has the necessary prerequisites in the disciplines the client is looking to address.
We firmly believe in creating long-term relationships based upon trust and we look to place our clients’ needs at the centre of everything we do.
We pride ourselves on integrity and a bespoke approach to investments.
On your website you talk about an ‘Investment Philosophy’, could you tell us more about that?
We pride ourselves on integrity and a bespoke approach to investments. In simple terms, we aim to protect and grow wealth over time and we have four proven beliefs that underpin our philosophy: asset allocation, analysis, an active approach and risk management.
What investment options should our readers consider?
Our aim is to achieve the optimum level of return suitable for clients’ objectives. Within each of our five core investment strategies we aim to minimise (and take advantage of) risk by using a combination of different asset classes.
Historically, the returns on the three major asset classes (equities, bonds and cash) have not, over the medium to longer-term, moved up and down to the same extent or at the same time. We therefore tailor our portfolios and asset allocation to take advantage of this lack of correlation whilst also including a range of other uncorrelated assets to provide short-term protection against loss of capital.
However, there are investment solutions for all, whether clients have an existing £50,000 pension pot or a nest egg of £1,000,000. Typically investors with in excess of £250,000 will benefit from a discretionary managed investment portfolio with regular face-to-face meetings to discuss strategy and returns whilst keeping the portfolio tailored for their financial goals.
I imagine there are those out there who remain closed off to the idea of investment, for fear of loss mostly, what would you say to those people to ease their worries?
As I mentioned earlier, by seeking professional investment advice, clients have the reassurance that the adviser they employ is properly regulated and qualified. Managing investment risk and ensuring investment diversification is key when investing over the medium to longer-term, and with a wealth of experience on our side, the team and myself know how best to manage it.
There is a great deal of formal structure within WHIreland to ensure that the investment decisions we make are reached with a quorum. Our investment process is derived from four main investment committees: Asset Allocation, Stock Selection, Fund Selection and Portfolio Construction. Each of these committees comprises of a number of our highly experienced investment managers from across our Group both in the UK and internationally in the Isle of Man and research analysts, who meet on a regular basis.
WHIreland is also regulated in the UK by the FCA and clients also have the reassurance that were a firm to be unable to meet its liabilities, clients may be entitled to redress from the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
In this day of fast moving markets and changing economy what would your advice be to relive the stress when it comes to investment decisions?
Investors looking to seek wealth management advice from experts traditionally turn to independent financial advisers (IFAs), private bankers or investment managers for guidance on how to achieve their desired returns for a tolerable level of risk. The world is complicated and so are people’s lives, and making sense of currencies, countries, asset classes and where to place funds can be a daunting task. Our role is to analyse and manage the potential return and risks of all opportunities, thereby planning for the future. This [analysis] is a daily task whether managing funds for individuals, institutions, pension assets or governments. The skill of matching the tolerance of a client with a tailored portfolio solution is as invaluable as it ever has been as a one size fits all approach does not work.
Our discretionary investment manage-ment service is particularly suited to clients wishing to delegate all the day-to-day investment decisions to us, thus removing the burden from having to react themselves to fast moving markets and the changing economy.
Before we invest any of our clients’ wealth, we take time to thoroughly discuss their investment goals so that we fully understand their financial aspirations and make recommendations on how best to achieve those goals. We will then implement an agreed investment strategy and regularly report directly to them through meetings, either face-to-face at our office or if they prefer at their home and clients also receive half yearly reports. Clients can also view their portfolio online at any time, via our secure online access.
The world is definitely growing with an unwieldy amount of data and rapidly changing circumstances which require frequent analysis. For many investors this level of analysis is either impractical or just simply overwhelming and the need for expert advice is now more relevant than ever to ensure that investments are constantly aligned with a client’s needs.
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