The long-established financial services firm, WHIreland, has undergone significant change over the past four years since Richard Killingbeck (pictured) became CEO, transforming a hugely diversified stockbroking firm into one which today, is a highly-focused wealth management business.
The firm, which is headquartered in the City of London, has a regional presence across the UK and internationally in the Isle of Man and has c.GBP3 billion of assets under management or influence.
WHIreland Wealth Management offers bespoke discretionary and advisory investment management services to a diverse range of clients including individuals, corporates, trustees and large institutions. In 2016, the firm’s international division, based in the Isle of Man was appointed after a lengthy and rigorous tender process, to manage two large investment mandates for the Isle of Man Government.
“We are a long-established business and we are proud to have long-standing relationships with a large number of our clients. We place great emphasis of placing our clients’ needs at the centre of everything we do and when you are operating in a crowded marketplace, this emphasis is extremely important,” says Killingbeck. “This is an exciting time in our strategic development as we look to accelerate our growth and to become one of the UK’s leading financial services groups. Our wealth management teams across the business are highly experienced and focused on providing a wealth management service where performance is at the core of what we do. Widening our distribution channels and forming strategic partnerships will be key over the next year or so.
“Our wealth management teams work to ensure structure and discipline to what they do and they have excellent client relationships. The role of an investment manager is not an easy skill set; analysing and managing risk and returns with the ability to build and maintain strong client relationships that can last decades.”
While WHIreland doesn’t provide private banking services, Killingbeck states that the firm is better placed on providing a `holistic wealth management/ service which is focused around wealth planning and investment services.
“Our holistic wealth management service is focused on offering clients clear, simple, tailored advice designed to grow, protect and preserve wealth. Many people believe that financial advice is the preserve of the wealth; however, everyone can benefit from it as it is such a complex area. Our independent wealth planning service provides unrestricted and unbiased advice on investment, trust, tax and insurance solutions to ensure clients’ financial goals can be achieved.”
Killingbeck comments that it is early days for robo-advice firms. “They may fill a void to a degree however the robo-adviser business model in the UK has still to be fully proven,” he says. “There are investment solutions for all and robo-advice is useful for investors wishing to establish a small investment account such as an ISA, however, typically, investors with in excess of GBP250,000 will benefit from a discretionary managed investment service like ours with regular face-to-face meetings to discuss investment strategy and returns whilst keeping the client’s portfolio aligned with their financial goals.”
Killingbeck observes that overall, the wealth management sector in the UK continues to grow. “We are seeing continuing growth in wealth generation in the UK,” he says. “There is increasing pressure on fees and charges due to the rise of the robo-adviser, however I believe that it remains important that we are open and transparent about our fees so clients can fully understand the depth of service they are receiving from a wealth manager.”