The newly formed wealth management group will use cutting edge technology and a contemporary approach to financial advice.
David Stearn, together with four colleagues, Ben Stott, Justin Thomas, Russell Waite and Julia Warrander, all previously from Fairbairn Private Bank, will be using 'best in class' technology at the outset for newly formed Jersey-based wealth management company, Affinity Private Wealth.
"We’ve decided to outsource all of our IT and being in Jersey gives us access to some of the most cutting edge packages on the market. It means our clients will have a very live experience when interrogating their portfolios over our website,” explains Stearn.
The firm plans to use a piece of software, Tercero, run by IT specialist company Third Financial. “It allows wealth management businesses to manage clients’ assets very intelligently,” says Stearn. “It means we can report to clients on the assets they hold as well as manipulate the data in order to interrogate performance. It has a client relationship management function and a data storage function all in the same operating system.”
The approach fits in well with the team's overall client proposition, which is to focus on delivering financial advice that is better aligned with increasingly complex client requirements. “When a client comes knocking on the door, it’s not about a piece of work you can turn around in a couple of hours. It's about offering a thorough consultation process. We think it's important to make an effort to fully understand the client’s life. It helps build up trust in us and helps us to deliver relevant, sound advice to the client. As a team it's something we are passionate about."
Along with investment management services, which includes discretionary investment management and execution only and advisory services, Affinity Private Wealth has been granted a licence to provide trust company services to clients. He lists retirement, succession and tax as persistent themes of financial management concern that dog the expatriate community.
“We believe our role is to look at every element of a client’s financial needs. Our review doesn’t just stop at the boundaries of what investments a client is prepared for us to look after. We’ll be looking at their whole wealth situation - whether it’s an investment in fine wines, a portfolio held with one of our competitors or just money held in a bank account. Such reviews will include thinking about future cash flow requirements, considering what stage in life they are at,” enthuses Stearn.
Other companies that are taking on some of Affinity Private Wealth’s administrative load include international law firm, Ogier, and HSBC for its custody and banking needs. Stearn explains that HSBC’s expertise in dealing with wealth management businesses means Affinity has access to “straight through fund processing when dealing from our desk.” BDO, the UK’s fifth largest accountancy firm, will be auditing the new company which, Stearn believes, sends out a signal of reassurance to clients.
Commenting on the firm's decision to base itself in Jersey, Stern says the fact Jersey has a great infrastructure for wealth management and a strict vetting procedure were key reasons. "To be able to establish in a jurisdiction that is as well regulated as Jersey requires demonstration of responsible management, financial depth and being fit for purpose. Clients should take comfort from this and the regulators should be rightly proud of that,” says Stern.
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