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‘It was just one of those things that I had to do’

Swiss and Global Asset Management’s Keith Rumbelow talks to Jenny Lowe about start-ups, fees and his move to an international asset management group

By Jenny Lowe | Published May 21, 2012 | comments

A charity bike ride from London to Paris has been a tough challenge for Swiss and Global’s head of UK sales Keith Rumbelow, but one that he sees as being an opportunity to get better acquainted with clients.

Mr Rumbelow, who joined Swiss and Global Asset Management in January 2011 from Marlborough Fund Managers, embarked on the bike ride on May 3 alongside colleagues, clients and famous Death Valley racer Chris Moon, who lost two limbs while clearing landmines and became the first amputee to run the world’s toughest ultra-distance races.

Raising money for Help for Heroes and Children with Cancer, Mr Rumbelow explains: “We reached the Eiffel Tower in Paris on May 5 after a total distance of 250 miles or roughly 85 miles a day.

“It was just one of those things that I had to do – it was on my bucket list.”

Before entering the financial services industry as a consultant at Towry Law in January 1991, Mr Rumbelow was a member of the First Battalion The Queen’s Regiment and it is this experience that led to his support of Help for Heroes.

“Financial services is about people and that is what the army is about. There are a lot of people in this industry that come in having an army background,” he explains.

Following a stint at HSBC, Mr Rumbelow wanted a new challenge and alongside friend Patrick Burton, he joined start-up boutique Neptune Investment Management, founded by Robin Geffen.

He says: “The main reason I joined Neptune was because I was looking for a challenge, that’s the honest truth. Neptune had only three or four funds and £25-30m in assets spread across those, they were tiny. The bulk of the assets were in one UK fund which had £15m under management.

“Myself and Patrick between us knew the London distribution market very well. We simply went out, talked to a lot of people and wore out a lot of shoe leather. We raised quite a bit of money, when I left we had gone from £25m to £600-700m, which is a lot for a small start-up. In fact, it’s not bad for a large firm,” he adds.

Having just passed its 10-year anniversary in March this year, Neptune is now known purely for its active, high conviction management of equity or equity-based portfolios. Having been involved in the sale and distribution process of equity funds for a number of years – at Neptune and then at Marlborough Fund Managers – it was Swiss and Global’s somewhat esoteric range that attracted Mr Rumbelow to the international investment house.

He says: “The first reason I joined, obviously, was because the job was the promotion I was looking for. The second reason was because the products are very different. I’ve done the UK equity income-type thing before, I wanted something more and that is exactly what I get here – it has a very different product range.”

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