‘Merger driven by RDR’: James Hambro’s RDR plans
FTAdviser talks to chief executive and partner of newly merged firm James Hambro & Partners.
Discretionary manager James Hambro & Partners announced on 16 August that it is to merge with independent financial advice firm Calkin Pattinson & Company, creating a business with a combined £1bn of assets under management and administration.
The group, which will trade under the James Hambro & Partners brand, will offer a full suite of services ranging from bespoke discretionary portfolio management to financial planning services.
The firm added the combined service is “ideally positioned” to attract new clients, particularly those dissatisfied with the service offered by the large banks. Also, it will be able to take advantage of the new Retail Distribution Review rules being implemented from January 2013.
Andy Steel, who will lead the combined James Hambro Group as chief executive, said that the Retail Distribution Review has been a “factor” in the merger.
Mr Steel said: “Both firms are looking at what the opportunities are going to be post-RDR. Essentially it’s a commercial transaction as the two businesses are highly complementary. Calkin were looking for ways to improve and expand their investment offering to their clients and we were looking at ways to expand our range of services that we offer to our clients.”
Charles Calkin, chairman and chief executive at Calkin Pattinson,said: “The point that we reached in our natural growth was to have an offering on a full discretionary basis and our challenge was either to try and build that ourselves or to find a like-minded partner who already had that in place.
“If we could bring our financial planning and our work on an advisory basis and combine it with a full discretionary offering then that would offer our clients a very broad range of opportunities right across the market.
“For those clients who remain on an advisory basis we will have access to the research that James Hambro & Partners have, particularly through their link with Jo Hambro Capital Management. Having access to that research to direct equities as well as collective funds is a very strong offering for our clients so we think it has lots of merit right across the board.”
Prior to the merger both firms had their RDR plans in place, with advisers getting qualified ahead of the RDR deadline.
Mr Steel said: “Both of us individually had our own plans and bringing the two together helps us as a group.”
A number of firms are struggling to maintain their revenue levels at the same time as delivering that level of transparency
James Hambro opened is doors for business in early 2010 which places the firm in a “fortunate” position, according to Mr Steel.
Mr Steel said:“RDR was already very much a known entity, though not a detailed concept then and therefore we were able to structure the business almost from day one to be RDR-friendly, so trail commissions and commissions from fund purchases for example have never been a big part of our revenue stream.