Former Lions and Scotland rugby player turned advice firm chairman, Gavin Hastings, has plans for his firm to expand across Scotland, targeting those that currently do not use advice.
Hastings, who captained the Lions on their 1993 tour to New Zealand and also won 61 caps for Scotland, earlier this year launched Hastings Investment Management with Mike Price, a Surrey-based financial adviser.
The firm is based in Edinburgh, but the intention is to build it into a “worthwhile business”, which could in future have offices in other Scottish cities.
Hastings and Price believe “there is a vast market of potential clients who do not use advice” despite the extensive financial services industry in Scotland.
It is these people Hastings IM will target, while trying to expand both organically and through acquisition in the years ahead.
Price said: “The biggest issue facing the industry is the 'small client issue'. It costs more to run a wealth management business now than in the past, but at the same time the needs of the client are getting more complex.
"I think we saw during the pandemic the potential for digitalisation to help to address this, to use digitalisation to work with them and to stay in touch with them.
"The firm is in Edinburgh but we worked with someone who lives on the Norfolk coast the other day, remotely, and it is very likely they will now become a client."
Hastings is not an adviser and has no plans to become one. But he hopes to introduce clients to the firm.
He said: “I have been involved in various businesses for a number of years. Mike Price has been my financial adviser for many years. He and I had a chat and were talking about how difficult things were during lockdown.
"We had discussed setting up an advice firm here in Scotland, and we brought in a young man to be the adviser in Edinburgh.
"We have started quietly and slowly and been a bit under the radar, and we are not putting pressure on ourselves."
But the pair has been speaking with potential clients, of which there are plenty, he said.
"One lady we spoke to recently wanted to invest for her children, her husband earns £600,000 a year, and they have never interacted with any kind of adviser.
"That shows you that while there are plenty of firms out there, the number of people who need an adviser is vast.”
Hastings IM will provide advice to sports people but Hastings said he was keen to avoid being labelled as a firm that does just that.
He said while sports people had particular needs “every client has individual needs”.
Hastings is 60 years old next year, a similar age to his business partner Price, but both have agreed to commit a minimum of 10 years to the business.