Cape Town - Brothers Paul and Andrew Finlayson recently decided to bid the world of corporate finance farewell and set up their own niche wealth management company.
Paul is a former managing director BoE Private Clients and Andrew a former director at Citadel and The Wealth Corporation. Between them they have 35 years of senior leadership in wealth management.
Their aim with Maven Wealth is to "grow small" and partner a select group of clients to provide advice across their balance sheets and businesses.
Fin24 asked them to elaborate more.
Tell us about yourselves.
Paul: My career up to this point has spanned global financial services and consulting businesses and my CV features a number of internationally recognised brands. However, it is in the wealth management industry that I made my mark.
I was managing director of BoE Private Clients for three years before stepping out to pursue my own ventures. Prior to this, over a period of 13 years, I successfully ran a number of divisions within the bank, assisting individuals and their families to manage their total balance sheet, through investment and banking advice.
Andrew: I have a long history in the private client wealth industry. Having cut my teeth at BoE as an analyst and investment manager, I spent a year criss-crossing the globe before starting a successful career at Citadel Wealth Management. I advanced to be one of the company's senior advisers to high net worth clients, before taking up a number of leadership roles in the group.
I initially ran the wealth planning division, before assuming responsibility for the new business development and brand and marketing areas. At 37, I was made a director of Citadel and its subsidiary, The Wealth Corporation.
Tell us more about your new business.
Maven Wealth is a niche wealth management business, rooted in an artisanal approach to wealth management. This results in each client being deeply understood and engaged with, prior to a hand-crafted solution being proposed and implemented for each one.
We are working with a small group of clients to ensure they have ongoing access to our expertise and experience. Importantly, we provide unconstrained advice and management across their entire balance sheet, inclusive of their businesses, ensuring that they maximise any opportunities that they are presented with.
What made you decide to start this business?
We have wanted to work together for many years. We have had a deep respect for each other’s skills and experience and have always felt that these would combine really well in a wealth management offering.
To be successful in this industry, you need to be able to add real value to your clients. We feel that this can only be done when you have the right combination of wisdom, energy and experience. Together we feel we are now in this unique position and our clients will benefit as a consequence.
What gap did you see in the market?
We believe there are a number of areas where the industry is getting things wrong:
- They operate in silos without one person understanding all of the aspects of a client’s life – their investments, any debt and their business. We offer advice across both sides of a client’s balance sheet and have the skills and experience to do this;
- Many businesses pitch themselves as independent, but few are. We provide truly unconstrained advice;
- Many businesses and advisers want to rush into the detail of an investment portfolio, without understanding the important steps that precede this. Our advice is rooted in a deep understanding of each client. This requires openness from the client, but ensures a hand crafted solution for each person;
- Most businesses "promote competency", with the result that a client is constantly having to establish a new relationship. By managing a small group of clients, we ensure that they always have access to the people with the right experience and knowledge;
- We believe that we are growing a community (or collective) and not a business. The ability for all members within the community to benefit is unique.
What is the secret of being a good entrepreneur?
- To have the ability to see what the future may hold and translate that vision into a business strategy that you can implement now;
- To have a good grasp of all the different elements of the business;
- To understand what the real driver of the business is and make it happen.
What challenges have you had as entrepreneurs and how do you deal with it?
- In our industry, there is a very onerous legislative framework that surrounds a business. As a result, there is a huge amount of compliance and administration that needs to be seen to;
- As an entrepreneur, the challenge is to grow the business while ensuring you remain on top of the admin;
- It is important to know what you must do and what can be outsourced. We have established a strong group of associate businesses that we refer to as the Maven Wealth Collective. Our clients benefit from the collaborative approach.
Any future plans?
We are building a strong platform, culture and process on the back of a well-considered strategy. This gives us the opportunity to add other senior, like-minded advisors to our business where appropriate.
In addition, we are excited at the ongoing tech developments that are taking place. We believe there will be great opportunities to introduce new tech into our business to enhance efficiency or to develop alternative business outcomes.
We have been really encouraged at the initial traction we have gained in the first few weeks of our business. The feedback from clients and our broader network is extremely positive and our view on how to go about things seems to be vindicated.
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