I will grow by acquisitions and targeting the top people
Nathalie Dauriac-Stoebe is no ordinary woman.
French-born Ms Dauriac-Stoebe, who classes the likes of John Caudwell, former chief executive of the Caudwell Group (including high street retailer Phones4u), as a personal friend and mentor, has proven that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.
In 2009 she left her job at private bank Coutts, where she was the youngest senior client partner leading the international proposition for clients with a foreign domicile, to set up wealth management boutique Signia Wealth.
In just a little more than two years, Ms Dauriac-Stoebe’s decision, so far, seems well worth it. The business has 93 clients, more than £2.2bn in assets under supervision and a host of successful businesspeople, such as Jon Moulton, Mr Caudwell, Stephen Vernon, Dante Roscini and Mike Balfour, on its advisory board.
“I set up the business in response to my clients wanting something different after the crisis in 2008. Timing was key and we knew we could make a difference in the wealth management industry,” she explains.
“We grew by 83 per cent last year. You can’t grow to that size if you don’t create the right structure. The key thing is to ensure that expansion and growth, although fast, will be facilitated in a controlled manner.
“We grew differently last year to how we will grow this year. Last year we grew organically, purely because of the proposition and people we had. This year growth is much more strategic – I will grow by acquisitions and targeting the top people in the industry.”
Ms Dauriac-Stoebe spent weeks visiting existing wealth managers and independent businesses in the US and in Europe to see how they differed from existing UK propositions. Her main aim was to create a different type of wealth manager that would work together successfully with banks, and deliver clients a consistent return on their investments.
“Our core offering is the provision of investment management services managed on an absolute return basis. We provide investment advice on an advisory or discretionary basis depending on the level of involvement our clients require. Our interests are aligned with investors and underpinned by a number of key philosophies – independence, objectivity and transparency,” says Ms Dauriac-Stoebe.
“We work to understand all aspects of our clients’ wealth, its structure, and our client’s goals and attitude to risk allow us to formulate a bespoke wealth strategy. Trust is at the centre of everything we do.”
Ms Dauriac-Stoebe is required to illustrate these claims just 15 minutes into the interview when a knock on the door reveals an important client that has turned up out of the blue – she apologises and excuses herself.