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35 Kings in the North


Cheshire’s ‘Golden Triangle’ of Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Prestbury is home to many of the Premier League’s best-paid stars. Arun Kakar meets the advisers who help manage their money


WHEN SIMON ANDREWS signed to Manchester United as an apprentice in 1986, the average weekly salary of a Division 1 player was £554.39. After turning professional at United, he left in 1990 and spent a year at Oldham Athletic before retiring at the age of 21 – and embarking on a second career in finance. Having built up a niche wealth management practice for sports professionals at St James’s Place over more than two decades, Andrews was hired last year by Tilney as director for business development in sport, based in the North West. The game Andrews


played has been transformed by the development of the Premier League, a competition that has created a new cohort of HNWs since it was founded in 1992. Today, the average salary of a Premier League player is around £240,000 a month.


proposition from Tilney and my network, which I have built over the years,’ he says. His patch covers some of the richest clubs in world football. In Deloitte’s 2021 Football Money League, five of the 30 richest clubs by revenue in Europe are based in the north of England. Manchester United, which is fourth in the list, posted revenues of €580.4 million in 2019/20. With figures like this, it comes as no surprise that Tilney is not the only wealth manager to beef up its presence in the region. Julius Baer opened its first Manchester office three years ago. Sanlam purchased Cheshire wealth adviser Avidus Scott Lang in 2019, and UBS relocated to a larger Manchester office that same year. But these


international names have to compete with several


Former Rochdale player Gareth Griffiths now helps professional footballers tackle their finances


‘Some of the players within Premier League academies are getting paid quite significant amounts,’ Andrews tells Spear’s. ‘All of a sudden, you’re thrust into this position as a young player.’ His role at Tilney places him at the nexus of this burgeoning wealth pool, where he works with players, agents, clubs and other stakeholders in the game to serve the wealth management needs of football professionals. ‘It was a coming together of an existing sports


boutique firms that have developed in the region. ‘The competition is good,’ says Gareth


Griffiths, the co-founder of Pro Sport Wealth Management, who amassed 337 league games during a 13-year football career that included spells at Wigan Athletic and Rochdale. ‘That’s good for the players because, hopefully, that does drive value. But I think it provides somebody with alternatives. No one IFA or wealth manager has got a monopoly on this.’ Based in Cheshire, Griffiths operates within what is probably UK football’s most famous


FIVE WEALTH MANAGERS IN THE NORTH WEST


Andrew Chatterton FFM


Franklyn Financial Management is one of the Cheshire region’s largest wealth managers. The firm offers a broad range of private client services.


Paul Rowling Apogee Wealth


‘It just never stops,’ says Paul Rowling of the inflow of HNWs into Cheshire. Apogee’s emphasis is on personal service and local understanding.


Gareth Griffiths Pro Sport


Former footballer Gareth Griffiths’ advisory firm in became an official partner of the Professional Footballers Association in 2011.


Colin Lawson Equilibrium


Colin Lawson founded Cheshire firm Equilibrium in 1995 with a dream to build ‘a financial planning firm that would truly put its clients first’.


NEAL SIMPSON/ALAMY


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