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Wealth Manager: why Raj Shah swapped Brown Shipley for Charles Stanley

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by Danielle Levy on Apr 04, 2013 at 00:01

Many investment management firms grappling with regulatory pressures while making their businesses more efficient have responded by centralising investment processes, causing some managers to feel less involved in the process.

It is a familiar story, which has led to a steady outflow of investment managers across various large wealth management businesses. All too often they leave, seeking a firm that has an investment framework allowing them autonomy to tailor portfolios according to the individual client relationship.

For Raj Shah, this was the reason he decided to leave Brown Shipley for Charles Stanley. One year on, he doesn’t regret his move.

‘Brown Shipley is more of a corporate entity in terms of being a bank and there was too much middle management and interference, I believe, in managing people’s portfolios,’ he says.

‘I knew quite a few people who had moved over from Brown Shipley to Charles Stanley and they always raved about what a good company Charles Stanley was, so I spoke to some of the senior directors. I had been approached a few times, but it was the first time I felt it was the right decision for myself and for any potential clients that would come over with me.

‘The move has been fantastic. It has given me new energy for work and I am going home happy in the evening, which is very important.’

Shah found Brown Shipley’s decision to shift away from a model where investment managers were given investment autonomy difficult.

‘I always said that if I was sat in front of a client, I wanted to be the person making the investment decisions. If it goes right, that is brilliant. If it goes wrong, then at least I can take responsibility rather than saying why someone in London made the investment decision,’ he says.

‘I understand why corporates are doing that, and the compliance angle, but it meant that the job became a relationship manager trying to get new money in for the company.’

Shah says he was attracted to Charles Stanley after 10 years at Brown Shipley because it offered him the prospect of freedom to run his own client book, with full responsibility for the revenue he generates.

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