Brooks Macdonald Asset Management  

Brooks boss: Turning point in numbers was first half of year

However, Shepherd noted the success was a joint effort and thanked the staff for being “magnificent”.

“It’s not a one or two man thing, it's a 450 person thing and we are judged on how we deal with adversity and how we interact with our clients, with our intermediaries, partners and indeed with with each other and the way that [our staff] dealt with everybody in a virtual world, even when tough things are going on in their own families, [they] have been great.”

Digital transformation

Last September, Brooks Macdonald pledged to transform the adviser experience in the next stage of its strategy as it looks to upgrade its digital offering. 

Speaking to FTAdviser today, Shepherd said the digital onboarding roll out phase was in place now and the firm has been rolling it out internally with selected advisers, with it expected to go to the full market soon.

He said: “From a digital onboarding perspective, the transformation comes in a number of parts and a number of phases but from a digital transformation perspective, onboarding genuinely is a game changer in wealth management. 

“We're talking about moving from completing trees worth of paperwork over a number of hours to a number of minutes on an app sitting next to your adviser in the comfort of your own home with digital signatures.

“At the moment, it probably feels to clients and advisers like a bit of an onerous process and it will feel like something which is the modern world.

"But once done, it won’t feel like an onerous process and it's going to save advisers significant time, since they can deal with more clients and be more efficient in their businesses, and they won't have to persuade clients to fill out reams and reams of paper.”

As well as the onboarding, Brooks Macdonald is transforming the digital side of its portal, which Shepherd said will be “leading in terms of the peer group”.

Acquisition plans

In June last year, Brooks set out to take over Lloyds Bank International’s offshore wealth management and funds businesses for the best part of £10m, while entering a referral agreement with Lloyds.

Discussing the acquisition plans for the future, Shepherd said: "We have three main criteria for any acquisitions. One is that they add strategic value. The second is to bring economic benefit to the business and the third is that there's a good cultural fit. 

“What we have seen in Cornelian and Lloyds is that we've ticked all three of those boxes. 

"They've been better for us financially than we thought that they would be, the strategic value has been enormous but to me, the biggest key is that culturally, the businesses have really fit together. We've brought on some fantastic people through both of those acquisitions and added to the skill sets that we have within the business.