Investments 

Adviser reveals how he grew client base by a third

Adviser reveals how he grew client base by a third

An email marketing campaign followed up with phone calls has helped Frenkel Topping to significantly grow its number of advised clients in 2018, according to Richard Fraser, the company’s chief executive.

Frenkel Topping’s latest results revealed the company grew the number of its clients by 33 per cent in the "expert witness" part of the business, which sits alongside the firm's DFM business, in the last calendar year.

The way the firm achieved this was by partnering advisers with law firms and litigants in personal injury and medical negligence cases.

Frenkel Topping advisers then acted as "expert witnesses" in court cases, to discuss the potential loss of earnings or wealth suffered by the litigant as a result of the incident.

Following this, the advice firm used the successful cases as a pipeline to win new clients.

Frenkel Topping does not accept clients for its advice business in any other way, but Mr Fraser said there are no real limits as to how big the "expert witness" business can grow.

He said: "In 2018 we did something new, we ran an email marketing campaign aimed at lawyers to promote our expert witness work, and then followed that up with phone calls to the lawyers. It worked very well, so we know we can turn that tap on in future."

Regulations mean Frenkel Topping cannot pay lawyers in order for them to win the work. The firm also can't contact clients directly so turns to the lawyers for professional connections.

Late last year the firm set up a training academy to deepen its talent pool, which at the time stood at 62 advisers. 

Up to five places are available on the academy based at the company’s headquarters in Salford Quays.

Mr Fraser said: "If I had four more of the right people as advisers I could double the Aum very quickly.

"The advisers we need must have the analytical intelligence to be expert witnesses giving evidence in court, and have the emotional intelligence to work with the clients afterwards.

"Those people are hard to find, it’s the biggest obstacle to growth for us.

"That’s why we set up the academy, we have a lot of hard working young people, and they are given two years to get Level 4 qualified, but we have some who have done it in one year.

"This industry has far too many middle aged white men, we want more younger people as advisers, and we want more women. Eight of the 10 people in the adviser academy are women."

Assets under management at the firm at the end of 2018 were £779m, an increase of 3.6 per cent​​​​​​ in the year.

The Salford-based company specialises in protecting the financial assets of its claimant clients.

Mr Fraser said the portfolios run on behalf of these clients are typically either "safety first", which focuses on capital preservation and is aimed at clients whose pot is large enough that this can be the focus.