Firing line  

Bordier: 'Not for sale, never has been, never will be'

Bordier: 'Not for sale, never has been, never will be'
Jamie MacLeod, chief executive of Bordier UK

Bordier & Cie's independence is a matter of immense pride for Jamie MacLeod.

The chief executive of Bordier UK, MacLeod is, of course, no stranger to UK financial services, and has witnessed plenty of corporate activity within the industry over the past three decades.

He started out at Laurentian Life and Laurentian Unit Trust Management before working on retail funds and actuarial based pension fund management with Scottish Widows in the early stages of his career.

MacLeod moved from this to do what he calls "the purest form of asset management", with Investec.

He became a very familiar figure among advisers in the early to late-2000s for his work with Skandia, which was a conglomerate of platforms, retail and institutional fund management businesses.

MacLeod says: "I am now chief executive in another distinct area of financial services, as part of a specialist investment manager, providing investment and wealth management services to both UK and international private clients."

These clients include professional advisers, wealthy individuals, family offices, trustees, charities, livery companies and numerous institutions, he adds.

He joined and acquired 20 per cent of Bordier UK (then called Berry Asset Management) in September 2010 as chief executive and became a member of the group executive team with Bordier & Cie, the 178-year-old Swiss private bank that is the majority shareholder of Bordier UK.

MacLeod likes being at the helm. He says: "This is my 25th year as a chief executive and I’m enjoying it every bit as much as I did at the start, when I was 29.

"I like working with the Bordier brothers and all the team in the wider business – the freedom they give me to manage the business has meant our partnership has been a success for clients, staff, and shareholders alike."

But despite all the merger and acquisition activity he has witnessed over the past 25 years, MacLeod does not see any similar activity for Bordier & Cie, one of the few private, family-owned businesses of scale operating in the UK, and whose independence he robustly defends.

He says: "Our corporate status and considerable financial strength are the bedrock upon which our business is built, and help us to plan with a long-term mindset."

Indeed, the fifth-generation, family-owned business serves more than 4,000 families around the world.

MacLeod adds: "Bordier, as we often say, ‘is not for sale, never has been, and never will be’ – and as an independent, privately held business of 178 years’ standing, it has no external shareholders. 

"That means we are under no pressure to deliver specific growth targets and can put our clients first; that is important, as growth is for us but a by-product of doing a great job for our clients.

"If we get that right, our reputation builds, and the business will grow."