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  1. Wealth
July 10, 2018

Patrick Smiley

By Rasika Sittamparam

‘Markets have been absolutely extraordinary,’ Patrick Smiley says of the past year. ‘There’s been no shortage of quite well-documented headlines.’

Smiley has a calming manner about him, even when he explains the most granular details of global markets. After painting a comprehensive picture of US bonds, the suddenly competitive cash and unusually high company margins, he adds: ‘Fundamentally, the market really needs to work out what the risk-free return means, because everything else will be priced off that.’

For some clients, he says, especially the ones most ‘rattled’ by macroeconomic headlines, it’s important to reconsider the amount of risk they take thereafter. There’s been a lot of handholding for his team to do in the past year, which the firm does ‘exceptionally’ well.

Smiley is really proud of the strong collegiate rapport across the board, which results in a high staff retention rate: ‘We’re well placed to wear that badge called “trusted adviser” reasonably well.’

The affable Scot says that while the era of trawling through ticker-
tapes hanging from the ceiling seems to have vanished, the ‘collegiate culture’ of the industry has not changed since he started in the late Eighties. He was pleased to find it intact at Smith & Williamson when he joined in 2006, after six years at Panmure Gordon and Leopold Joseph & Sons Ltd (now Butterfield Bank).

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