Firing line  

Bowmore rebrand offers DFM and financial planning

Mr Incledon adds: “Over the decades we’ve never been entirely satisfied with outsourcing investment management, primarily due to inconsistencies in investment performance and service. 

“Hence, we’ve established our own fully authorised discretionary fund manager. This provides our clients with a more dedicated service, which is 100 per cent aligned with their objectives.

“For me, there were several issues I wanted to resolve, primarily associated with inconsistent performance and inaccurate representation of a client’s attitude towards risk. The final nail in the coffin came after a comprehensive review of an asset manager’s long-term performance. 

“Our findings showed the figures to be vastly different between regional offices. An asset manager must provide consistency and predictability, something that we now have developed a solution for.”

For Mr Incledon, having both businesses under one umbrella, gives the financial planning team a bit more control over what the investment manager is doing.

And by starting the DFM business from scratch five years ago and building processes from the ground up, this means the company has been able to create a model that is simple and attractive to clients and other companies that want to work with Bowmore.

Amid the lockdown, there have been some challenges around financial planning face-to-face, but Mr Incledon says this time has allowed his team to engage a lot more with existing clients than they would have done pre-Covid.

A lot of their clients are high net worth, entrepreneurs, very busy or short of time, or work for large organisations in senior positions.

As a result of the crisis and people being stuck at home, the clients have had more time and it has refocused their attention on planning and investment issues that had been put to one side.

Mr Incledon says the company has also not seen a drop-off in the amount of business being done.

This is good news for any company at a time when they are not just feeling the pressure from coronavirus, but also from the weight of regulation.

For Mr Incledon, owning an investment management business means the company has been able to extend the value chain while also creating a model that does not just rely on financial advice.

As well as expanding the business to other advisers, as part of Bowmore’s growth strategy, the company is interested in buying other IFAs or smaller DFMs who share a similar value but are at a point where they want to make a large investment into their own business or are considering some sort of consolidation.

Despite the challenges brought on by coronavirus Mr Incledon says the business is still in active discussions with private equity companies over raising the funds that will be needed to do acquisitions over the next two to three years.