FOR PROFESSIONAL CLIENTS ONLY FINANCIAL ADVISER CASE STUDY OAKTREE WEALTH MANAGEMENT ADVISER TOOLKIT INSIGHTS

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1 FOR PROFESSIONAL CLIENTS ONLY FINANCIAL ADVISER CASE STUDY OAKTREE WEALTH MANAGEMENT ADVISER TOOLKIT INSIGHTS

2 GUIDANCE TOOLS INSIGHTS OakTree Wealth Management is a nine-strong Henley-based Financial Planner and Discretionary Portfolio Manager, established in 2008 by Jeremy Arthur and Ian Brady. Arthur had previously spent 14 years at a leading national independent financial advisory group, working with private clients. He had also spent two years working for a City of London-based firm, focusing on building a client base of City professionals. JEREMY ARTHUR Co-founder and Director Oaktree Wealth Management They founded OakTree as a fee-based financial planning firm, designed to provide an ongoing service to clients. It covers all aspects of a client s financial affairs including financial planning, tax planning, portfolio management and estate planning. In th following pages, Jeremy describes some of the key challenges he faced in establishing a fee-based business model. [2] TRANSITIONING TOOLKIT

3 OakTree Wealth Management Case Study BUSINESS VISION We set the group up to have a relatively small number of clients, with a greater emphasis on increasing the average assets under management per client. Our target is 1 million per client. We believe that the optimum number of clients we can realistically service is between 300 and 400. This enables us to provide the quality of advice, oversight and management that each client requires. I have to admit that we were naively optimistic when we started the business. We had some clients that we could bring over, but I thought other clients would simply flock to us. 2008/9 proved a difficult time it was just post- Madoff so it didn t prove as easy as that. However, it has got a lot easier now that we have got a good track record and get good advocacy from clients. When setting up the business we recognised that, by 2013, everyone would be fee-based so this could not be the group s only point of differentiation. We wanted to build an integrated wealth management proposition, incorporating financial planning, tax planning, estate planning and risk mitigation, in addition to portfolio management. CLIENT PROFILE We started the business in 2008, when the changes necessitated by the Retail Distribution Review were already becoming clear. We had the luxury of starting from scratch, so didn t have any legacy issues to deal with and did not have to disengage from existing clients. However, we still had to think hard about the type of clients we wanted and how the business was to be structured, having come from a commission-based background. We had the space to spend nine months really thinking about how to build our proposition and what infrastructure would be needed to support us. We looked at areas of the structure that would need to be outsourced to maximise the client experience. We were very clear from inception that we would not be able to provide the level of service for clients with less than 250,000 to invest. This worked on the basis that we had a 1% fee for assets under management and the minimum fee to run a client profitably was 2,500 plus VAT. That said, the average client is nearer 650,000. Our client segmentation exercise has therefore focused on deciding the type of clients we wanted to attract. This is an ongoing exercise, ensuring clients remain profitable and that the group can provide the right level of service. We have four main target client types. First we aim for equity partners at professional services firms such as accountants or solicitors. Partners at the magic circle law firms tend to have payouts of 500,000 to 1,500,000, with significant surplus income available to invest. The second major client type is company directors. They may be part of an owner-managed business or otherwise. They take fluctuating amounts out of the business and that has to be managed to ensure that their expenditure requirements are met. Entrepreneurs are another target group for us. Quite often they will have created a liquidity event either they will have sold a business or floated on the stock exchange. It gives them financial independence and they think of the money as safe money that they don t want to risk. They will often go on to set up or invest in other business with their remaining risk money, with the objective of creating another liquidity event but this will be separate. With these three groups the common characteristics are that they are successful and very busy, with little time to focus on their own financial affairs to the same high standard that they run their business. Hence they are looking to outsource this element of their life to a trusted adviser. Our final area of focus is to look at independently-wealthy individuals, such as widows or divorcees. They may not have a lot of experience of managing money, but may have to generate an income from large sums of money. Once we determined these four key sectors, we devised our marketing and referral plan accordingly. We have three paths for growing the business organically, by acquiring the client banks of retiring IFAs and through partnering with IFA groups who will outsource their investment management to us. Within the organic growth part of the business, we build our client base through existing client referrals and referrals from a network of retired IFAs, accountants and solicitors. We also use seminars, networking, internal marketing and PR to generate new business. FINANCIAL ADVISER CASE STUDY [3]

4 CLIENT SERVICING We start off by creating a deep understanding of the client s long-term objectives. We then review their existing assets and, if appropriate, undertake restructuring to ensure their assets are aligned to their objectives. We then look at their future inflows and how they should be allocated. We do tax planning, estate planning and intergenerational planning and 95% of the money we manage is on a discretionary basis. In my experience, most clients know what they would like to achieve; it is just the discipline and complexity required to put a plan together and execute it effectively that is often best left to the professionals. For each client, we build a Strategic Plan for Life, which is dynamic and evolutionary. It is driven by individual clients objectives and aspirations, plus their life expectancy, tolerance for risk and other assumptions. On top of this is shorter-term tactical financial planning, which may be in response to major economic, regulatory or political changes. Alternatively, it may shift in response to changes in a client s personal circumstances divorce, inheritance, the birth of a child, etc. My business partner, Ian Brady, (formerly of Schroders and Invesco Perpetual) is the Chief Investment Officer. He and his team have total responsibility for managing our client portfolios. Ian has a strong track record as a fund manager, both historically and at OakTree, and advocates an ongoing proactive asset allocation underpinned by comprehensive macro and micro research. We aim to have a higher level of interaction with clients during times of market stress. This has been an important factor in managing more money from existing clients. We find that our clients are not always getting this level of attention from other wealth managers. We are aware that we are competing against private banks and stockbrokers and we believe that in many cases clients have been getting sub-average service levels or none at all. Client service is a learning curve and we are constantly evaluating what we could do better or cheaper. We are not in the business of selling products. We are selling services. The product if one is necessary is the last thing we introduce into our planning. CHARGING STRUCTURES We offer an initial meeting with all prospective clients. This enables us to understand an individual s requirements, explain Oaktree s proposition and establish whether the relationship would be mutually beneficial. There is no fee or obligation on either side after this meeting. From there, consultancy work is undertaken on a fee basis either at an hourly rate or at a fixed fee, agreed in advance. This fee will be determined by the complexity of an individual s affairs and is payable up front. There is no obligation to become a client afterwards, or to take the advice given in the strategic plan. From there, a client may choose to use our integrated wealth management platform, or become a portfolio management-only client. We will charge fees on the proportion of a client s portfolio that we manage. We incorporate ongoing advice into those fees. The integration of advice into the overall portfolio/wealth management fee is based on recent research from the US that looks at the impact of separating out discretionary portfolio management fees from an advice fee. The research showed that clients were less likely to take advice if the two parts were charged separately. If advisers bundled it up but it was still transparent they were more likely to take advice. We have been accused of charging too little. By 2014, we will see who is right. Of course, there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer. We charge 1% + VAT for the first 1m that we are managing. Ultimately we are trying to create a portfolio that has all costs including the underlying funds, custody fees and other expenses at below 2% to the client. Higher net worth clients tend to require more face-to-face contact from the advisers and the structure allows us to cope with higher servicing requirement profitably. We did a lot of cashflow modelling and analysis before structuring the business this way. My business partner s wife was a chartered accountant, so we were in a good position of having someone who knew a lot about budgeting. She examined different types of cashflow management, budgeting and the different pricing structures. We also looked at the competition to see what they were doing and how we could build on that. The ongoing fee will include discretionary management, financial planning and all meetings. At all times we are trying to have complete transparency of what we are doing, of what a client is paying for and we believe that our clients are very happy with that. [4] TRANSITIONING TOOLKIT

5 BLACKROCK ADVISER TOOLKIT FOR TRANSITIONING YOUR BUSINESS ADVISER TRAINING A bespoke adviser video presenting the key considerations when transitioning your business. Also accredited for CPD points. GUIDANCE GUIDES Practical guides to help you address some of the key challenges of transitioning to a fee-based model. Guide to transitioning your business to a fee-based model. Using positive language to describe your service proposition. Handling client objections to fees. Segmenting clients to improve service efficiency. TOOLS TOOLS Walk-through exercise to help you make informed decisions about how to transition to a fee-based model, focusing on: Understanding the cost of servicing clients Setting an appropriate fee structure. Ensuring your service proposition is strong. Segmenting your client base for a more efficient service model. Understanding the effects of transitioning on your revenues. INSIGHTS INSIGHTS FROM YOUR PEERS Best Practices Research Insights from leading UK financial advisers on the practices they believe have made them successful. Case Studies Interviews with advisers who have already made the transition to a fee-based model. Please visit the Adviser Centre section of our website: blackrock.co.uk to access a range of educational programmes and resources that help you optimise your business model and have the right conversations with your clients. FINANCIAL ADVISER CASE STUDY

6 WHY BLACKROCK As the world s largest investment manager, we believe it s our responsibility to help investors of all sizes succeed in the New World of Investing. We were built to provide the global market insight, breadth of capabilities and deep risk management expertise these times require. The resources you need for a new world of investing Investing with BlackRock gives you access to every asset class, geography and investment style, as well as extensive market intelligence and risk analysis, to help build the dynamic, diverse portfolios we believe these times require. The best thinking you need to uncover opportunity With deep roots in all corners of the globe, our 120+ investment teams in over 30 countries share their best thinking to translate local insight into actionable ideas that strive to deliver better, more consistent returns over time. The risk management you need to invest with clarity With more than 1,000 risk professionals and premier risk management technology, BlackRock digs deep into the data to understand the risk that has to be managed for the returns our clients need and bring clarity to the most daunting financial situations. BlackRock. Investing for a new world. Source: BlackRock, data as at 31 March Any research in this document has been procured and may have been acted on by BlackRock for its own purpose. The results of such research are being made available only incidentally. The views expressed do not constitute investment or any other advice and are subject to change. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any company in the BlackRock Group or any part thereof and no assurances are made as to their accuracy. No representation or warranty (including liability towards third parties), express or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information provided or their suitability to meet your business needs or goals. Issued by BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited (authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority). Registered office: 12 Throgmorton Avenue, London, EC2N 2DL. Registered in England No Tel: +44 (0) BlackRock is a trading name of BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited. For your protection, telephone calls are usually recorded BlackRock, Inc. All Rights reserved. BLACKROCK, BLACKROCK SOLUTIONS, ALADDIN, ishares, LIFEPATH, SO WHAT DO I DO WITH MY MONEY, INVESTING FOR A NEW WORLD and BUILT FOR THESE TIMES are registered and unregistered trademarks of BlackRock, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and elsewhere. All other trademarks are those of their respective owners j-RET May14 FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: blackrock.co.uk

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