A ‘challenging’ investment environment hasn’t fazed Chris Boon, the pragmatic managing director at Close Brothers Bespoke. ‘Last year investors enjoyed much better markets,’ he says. ‘But the long-term challenge is still to find sustainable growth companies in a low growth environment.’
That’s potentially good for wealth managers. Boon explains: ‘Even though the current tendency is for higher interest rates, it will be a slow process and also means income will remain at a premium. In these conditions investors will rely on skilled and prudent decision-making more than ever.’
What would the likeable Boon change about the industry? ‘An increasing number of firms are momentum-driven in their style and adopt a performance horizon measured in months, in contrast to the vast majority of private individuals who view their wealth over years and expect us to invest for them accordingly,’ he says.
‘Wealth management firms are better placed than most to take short-term benchmark
risk to support those quality companies genuinely capable of outgrowing the economy over the long term. So I would advocate less benchmark-hugging, and a more entrepreneurial spirit in stock selection.’