Top Ten HNW Wealth Manager
‘We were fairly early in identifying the risk to economies,’ says Chris Boon of the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘We had raised some cash because we expected markets to fall, and had communicated this to clients.’ March was certainly challenging, but Boon and the team at Close Brothers chose to try to extract the positives and re-allocate funds to areas that are doing well. ‘Our clients are very pleased that we’ve taken the initiative,’ he says.
When Spear’s speaks to Boon in May, portfolios have already recovered significantly from the dark days of March, but he is insistent upon the necessity of not falling back into old habits. ‘We’re viewing the crisis not as something that we just have to navigate through, but a chance to properly construct portfolios for what the world will look like in 2021,’ he tells us.
For example, he is cognisant of the risks of falling incomes and suspended dividends as a consequence of the crisis, and the resultant need to have sufficient liquidity in portfolios. With the caveat of coronavirus, Close Brothers has been encountering strong growth of late, recruiting new investment officers, opening new offices and enlarging its client base organically.
At the end of 2019, the investment division’s assets under management were £12.6 billion – up 26 per cent from the end of 2018.