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James Hambro’s head of investments and portfolio management is celebrating 30 years in wealth management this year. ‘I’ve been around the clock a few times,’ jokes Langrish. ‘I’ve woken up at 5:30 every morning for the last 30 years. You’ve got to love the job.’
Langrish inspires loyalty – his largest client, a family worth north of £50 million with whom he started working in 1999, has moved firms with him twice. ‘It started off with just Lord and Lady,’ he says. ‘And now I’m dealing with 30 people at the family summits.’
The industry has changed drastically since the Eighties. ‘I didn’t even have a computer on my desk then, whereas now we’re subsumed with information,’ he says. ‘Technology is one of the biggest challenges this industry faces.’ It has, among other things, led to a dramatic rise in passive management, as well as forcing banks to consolidate as costs rise due to regulation and pressure to lower fees. But Langrish is a pragmatist: ‘Wealth managers will have to embrace passive to make things smarter and more efficient and cheaper for clients.’
Meanwhile, James Hambro goes from strength to strength, with 70 per cent of new business coming through referrals from existing clients. ‘We’ve gone from nothing seven years ago to managing £2.4 billion,’ says Langrish, whose team has grown from one to 17 people.