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Weatherbys has served the top owners in thoroughbred horse racing since the late 18th century. Imperious but approachable, head of private banking Quentin Marshall is vehemently against ‘trying to pick winners’. Instead he’s been focusing on transitioning clients who were invested with legacy managers towards ‘best in breed solutions’ – solutions that often involve low-cost passive investment strategies.
‘There is no evidence tactical asset allocation, fund selection and security selection systemically add value. Indeed, there is good evidence it detracts value, even before you pay high fees to access it,’ he says.
Marshall joined Weatherbys from Coutts in 2015, having begun his career at UBS. Now the Spear’s 2007 Future Leader award-winner is focused on making Weatherbys stand out as a private bank.
‘The main challenges we face, both as an industry and location, are how we combine high regulatory standards – which are a good thing – with a still high cost structure and falling revenues as a percentage of assets,’ he says.
Marshall has noticed that clients are better informed about alternative investment strategies: ‘They remain keen on real service and avoid product pushing. They’re also becoming more aware about fees and how it’s possible to reduce them.’ He believes the current climate will eventually result in ‘radically reordering the cost structure of the industry’.