Discretionary Management  

Waverton: 'Our hard work paid off' as inflows up 74%

Waverton: 'Our hard work paid off' as inflows up 74%
Nick Tucker, Waverton’s chief executive

Investment manager Waverton said it has spent the last year trying to win over advisers and has now recorded a 74 per cent uptick in inflows to its managed portfolio solution (MPS).

The Westminster-headquartered firm published its full financial results this week (April 26), which showed a jump in inflows from £800mn in 2020 to £1.8bn in 2021 for its ‘Adviser Solutions’ channel.

Launched 12 years ago, today Waverton’s MPS is available on 22 advised investment platforms and services around 400 adviser firms.

The investment manager operates a direct (individual securities over funds of funds), global, and active investment strategy.

According to Nick Tucker, Waverton’s chief executive, 2021 was the year this strategy paid off for its adviser channel, which is now the firm’s fastest growing business. 

“Performance has always been strong, but you’ve really got to earn your stripes in the advice community,” Tucker told FTAdviser.

“Advisers are wary of small and upcoming players, they want to see you prove yourself. You have to be on all the different platforms and offer the right service, otherwise you’re not in the game. 2021 was the year all our hard work paid off.”

Last year also saw Waverton’s overall profits recover, up 46 per cent from £8.2mn in 2020 to £12mn in 2021. Meanwhile revenue, almost wholly made up of asset-based fees, finished on £50.3mn - an increase on £42.9mn the previous year.

Assets under management had reached £8.6bn in the 12 months to December 2021, up from £6.9bn the previous year.

Tucker hinted at a “record” Q1 in 2022 for inflows to the investment manager’s adviser channel, taking the firm closer to £10bn in AUM.

“We’ve gone from being a very small player to - we’re still not huge - but our footprint is significantly bigger,” said Tucker.

“It’s about incremental growth, digging into our current adviser book and adding to that.”

Organic growth

Rather than acquire businesses, Waverton is currently focused on organic growth and driving it through new services.

As part of its offering, advisers get access to a digital portal which includes tools such as a report builder, and personalised factsheets for clients.

“Some big DFM [discretionary fund management] firms just aren’t that agile,” said Sasha Dabliz, Waverton’s marketing head. “We have an extremely agile mindset and aren’t encumbered.”

Dabliz also highlighted the firm’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy, which is considered for every investment rather than being a bolt-on or “product-led”.

“For advisers, ESG in isolation is nonsense,” she said.

Last year, the firm’s MPS solution delivered returns of between 8.7 and 16.1 per cent depending on a client’s risk profile.

But Waverton, like many other investment managers, has not been immune to market volatility over the last few months in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war.