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February 13, 2013

Ian Marsh, Head of Asset Management at FF&P, on What UHNW Clients Need Today

By Spear's

In 2012 Ian Marsh, former CEO of Credit Suisse UK’s Private Bank, joined multi-family office FF&P. What does this move say about his views on how to meet HNW demands in the future?

Ian Marsh (pictured left) is one of the biggest names in the private client world. As CEO of Credit Suisse’s UK Private Bank until 2010, he transformed the business, turning around profitability, ending commission-based compensation and hiring key personnel.

Unusually, however, he switched from poacher to gamekeeper in 2012 by joining multi-family office FF&P as head of asset management. That speaks volumes about the model he thinks will meet UHNW demands in the future, and so Spear’s went to find out a bit more.

‘The crisis has changed a number of things,’ says Marsh. ‘It’s brought a focus on transparency and accountability; it’s deepened client engagement with managers; it’s brought a renewed focus on capital protection, asset security, custody and administration; it’s underlined the importance of costs in the delivery of investment performance; and it’s sharpened the need for managers and clients to have their interests aligned.

‘That’s been good for us at FF&P,’ he continues, ‘as the Fleming family invests at the same time and on the same terms as other FF&P clients. Together with changes to the model — which include the development of cash and fixed income management capabilities as well as a direct equity investment strategy – we now offer clients the ability to use single asset class solutions for a competitive fee.’

As for take-up, Marsh has seen particular success in fixed income and cash management, winning assignments worth £600 million since late summer.

‘People have become very interested in how their cash is handled,’ says the 51 year old, ‘not only because they want low risk income at a better level of return than is being offered by Gilts and Treasuries, but also to give greater levels of security than that offered by banks. Clients often like to have segregated accounts with their custodian, something that many banks can’t offer.

‘Over 2013, our targets are to reinforce FF&P’s position as the leading multi-family office, continue developing the rigour and effectiveness of our investment process and developing new ways to best look after the interests of our existing and future clients.’
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