For many businesses, a company rebrand during a pandemic outbreak may not factor high on a list of priorities.
But for Mark Incledon, chief executive of the newly branded Bowmore Wealth Group, the change is the culmination of his long-term plans for what was previously The Citimark Partnership.
“It’s always been my ambition to provide quality asset management with chartered financial planning. After 30 years in business, this significantly increases our offering while securing the future of our business,” Mr Incledon says.
“My management team and I felt that we have established a stronger brand under Bowmore and therefore after 30 years have decided to drop the Citimark name.”
As part of the rebrand, Citimark Partnership, a chartered financial planner with over 450 high-net-worth clients, and its discretionary fund management arm Bowmore Asset Management, will sit under the new group name Bowmore Wealth Group.
Although Bowmore Asset Management was originally set up for Citimark Partnerhsip clients – now Bowmore Financial Planning – the DFM has recently started to take on clients directly and has the ability to deal with other IFAs who might require investment management services.
Although the financial planning arm was set up in 1989, the DFM division was only launched at the start of 2015.
The main reason behind Bowmore’s decision to launch the DFM was that, from a financial planning point of view, by outsourcing, Mr Incledon often saw discrepancies in the investment performance and the level of risk being taken in order to achieve the returns the third-party fund managers provided.
Mr Incledon says: “We have listened to our regulator and one of the key messages is that it is important we treat customers fairly. But what we were finding with outsourcing fund management was that clients were not being treated fairly.
“Mifid II has also said that we have to charge commensurate to the service we provide, so now we created an organisation where if clients just want fund management, they can deal directly with Bowmore the fund manager and if they want financial planning, they can come to us and we build a financial plan or if they want a combined service, we can deliver that as well.”
As Mr Incledon explains, a huge amount of what goes into a financial planning process is determining a client’s level of risk and making sure anything recommended is appropriate and suitable.
By outsourcing to a third-party company, and in effect giving that mandate away, Mr Incledon felt there was a mismatch between what he expected for his clients and what the business “was actually getting”.
He also started to see these DFMs were moving into the advice side of the business and therefore managing the relationship with them became a little bit more challenging.