Our rundown of the big moves and shake-ups that mattered – and why they've happened now
There's more wealth than ever to be managed in London – but fewer firms doing it. We learnt in October that ’524 billion is being managed in the UK for global HNWs and UHNWs, but throughout the year we have seen firms partner up like they want to avoid being the last one at the dance.
Spear's has covered these stories closely:
Boutique Thurleigh merged soon afterwards with the much-larger Ingenious; charismatic co-founder Charles MacKinnon cited regulatory burden, political risk, Heston Blumenthal and The Byrds https://www.spearswms.com/blog/thurleigh-merges-with-ingenious-citing-regulatory-burden-political-risk-heston-blumenthal-and-the-byrds/
Genteel FF&P and more global Stonehage merged in November and tried to figure out whether they're more like Harrods or Westfield https://www.spearswms.com/blog/tomorrow—the-world-stonehage-and-ffp-on-their-merger-their-future-and-whether-theyre-more-like-harrods-or-westfield/
We also saw Lord North Street and SandAire; Rathbones snapping up bits of Jupiter and Tilney; and the Schroders/Cazenove tie-up last year.
I took a deep dive into the reasons why this is all happening now https://www.spearswms.com/blog/what-is-prompting-a-wave-of-wealth-manager-mergers-in-london/: it seems that as the regulators bear down, broader backs can take the pressure. The ability to grow internationally and plug gaps in the services they provide figured too.
It wasn't just wealth managers either: law firms Charles Russell and Speechly Bircham plighted their troths and a revealing interview https://www.spearswms.com/blog/charles-russell-speechlys-merger-shows-shift-in-global-financial-power/ with the new principals showed how not just the wealth management world but the whole world has profoundly changes since 2008.
You can see our complete wealth management coverage here https://www.spearswms.com/wealth-management/#.VIAqe2SsW64 and read the profiles from The Spear's 500 of our top HNW wealth managers https://www.spearswms.com/indices/best-hnw-wealth-managers/#.VIAirGSsW64 and UHNW wealth managers https://www.spearswms.com/indices/best-uhnw-wealth-managers/#.VIAit2SsW64.
The full Spear's 500, with all our top advisers across every field, is available for free here https://www.spearswms.com/spears-indices/#.VIAqw2SsW64
Does all of this mean people are actually getting wealthier? If our economic fortunes could be judged by the state of the FTSE, no: it started at 6,717.91 and at time of writing was 6,716.60. Meanwhile, the wealth managers we've interviewed are predicting a bumpy 2015. Whether your wealth manager is splicing or splitting, we hope we've helped to bring you the best of them.