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59


2013:


2007: Capital Generation Partners founded by Khaled Saïd, Ian Barnard and Charlotte Thorne


2009:


Cazenove Capital buys wealth manager Thornhill


2012: Staffordshire-based private investment offi ce Sorbus Partners founded by ex-UBS banker Max Throwless-Reeves


Cazenove Capital acquired by Schroders, creating a private banking and wealth management business with more than £240 billion in AuM


Cerno Capital founded by Nick Hornby and James Spence


W


here Stanhope or Stonehage Fleming have met the challenges of the future with acquisitions


(the latter acquired the investment manage- ment activities of Cavendish Asset Manage- ment in 2020) and firms such as CapGen have ambitious targets for organic growth, others are finding new routes for survival in an increasingly challenging environment. Last December Sandaire, founded by Alex


Scott, was acquired by the FTSE 100-listed asset manager Schroders and merged into its wealth management subsidiary Cazenove Capital – a major development in the world of boutiques. Scott tells me that he came to the conclusion at the end of 2019 that selling the firm to a larger entity was the best way forward. ‘It was increasingly challenging from all sorts of perspectives,’ he says. Costs of operation were continuing to climb –


‘there’s a big requirement for IT... a big requirement for high-quality personnel’ – and, as a client, he was aware of the ‘ever- expanding list of things that wealthy families with complex affairs need’ in order to make their lives run smoothly. ‘You put those two things together and a conversation with Schroders seemed to be a logical course.’ It was, as one industry observer notes, ‘a huge endorsement to Schroders that he felt it was a suitable home, because he would have thought of his clients first – and of course, he is the largest’. Part of the attraction for Scott is that Schroders is still partly family-owned. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange but over 47 per cent of the shares are still in family hands. Next, as Scott is keen to emphasise, Schroders has the means to put into place the infrastructure necessary to service the growing needs of UHNW families. As an example, Clare Anderson, team head in Cazenove’s wealth management division, says this includes ‘real-time interaction with their global assets – not just their financial assets. They don’t want a barrier.’ Which sounds like a considerable IT


Max Thowless-Reeves Sorbus Partners


“The talent leaves


because they don’t need the restrictions; they can actually have better


relationships with small numbers of clients”


project – one which it is hard to imagine many boutiques being able to take on. ‘It’s more beneficial to be of scale,’ concludes Scott, who is now chair of Schroders Global Family Office Services. And it’s clear to see there are advantages.


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