Rupert Phelps - Spear's Magazine

Rupert Phelps

Smith & Williamson

Rupert Phelps
Wealth Managers 2019
Company Size

Family Offices Services

Rupert Phelps has had a storied career. The family office services partner at Smith & Williamson left the Life Guards in the late Nineties to pursue a career in finance. ‘I was keen to start at an aggressive American bank with international presence, meritocratic culture and excellent training,’ he explains in his article on leadership in this Issue 69 of Spear’s.

His chosen bank was Merrill Lynch – and it certainly worked. Today Phelps is one of the best-connected people and one of the wisest minds in the industry. He also chairs the Gulls’ Eggs luncheon, which this year raised more than £95,000 for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.

His book covers ‘business- owning families, liquidity events, cash-generative operating companies… there’s no other firm in this country that has a wider, more aligned, more relevant range of services for such clients.’

So how has the year been? Phelps identifies political challenges ‘domestically, with the EU and further afield’, noting that the turbulence has ‘lengthened the decision-making cycle with clients’. He adds: ‘This is entirely understandable from their perspective and equally frustrating from ours.’

Not that this will put a dampener on this former Spear’s Outstanding Achievement winner: ‘My natural habitat is actually in the Square Mile – in the regulated financial services sector. And believe it or not, I actually like it.’