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Collaboration is key: an interview with JM Finn’s Investment Director, Freddy Colquhoun

Model Portfolio Services (MPS), are a vital tool for financial advisers, but they certainly don’t need to be a ‘cookie cutter’ product off the shelf. That’s the ethos of wealth manager, JM Finn. It’s one of the factors which have led to incredible growth over the last ten years as our interview with JM Finn’s Investment Director, Freddy Colquhoun, highlights.

JM Finn has seen spectacular business growth over the last ten years, evolving from a traditional stock brokerage firm to a fully-fledged wealth management business, managing just over £10bn of assets.

Investment Director, Freddy Colquhoun, wears two hats within the business; looking after traditional client portfolios as well heading the team that runs the model portfolio service for IFAs.

The firm’s unique approach to its model portfolio services puts a deep emphasis on collaboration with advisers. Colquhoun clarified this saying, “We’re not going out there being everything to everyone. We have a service that we feel is quite embedded, whereby the client always comes first.”

Colquhoun elaborated, saying, “We hear the word ‘tailored’ a lot in this industry, but at JM Finn we certainly try and tailor everybody’s portfolio to that individual’s circumstances.”

Made to measure

Although the JM Finn team puts parameters around what they will and won’t invest in, their approach is proving popular amongst clients. They conducted a survey a few years ago which not only got high engagement, but demonstrated near industry-leading key performance indicators. Notably, JM Finn’s ‘net promoter’ score came in above 70. The high marks on the net promoter score is emblematic of the firm’s approach, as Colquhoun said, “You won’t necessarily see billboards with JM Finn on.” The referral process is the favoured approach to business acquisition, and it’s proven to be very successful.

JM Finn has been working with IFAs since 2012. Following the retail distribution review many advisers were looking to outsource the investment function to discretionary fund managers (DFMs). Colquhoun said, “we saw this as an opportunity to engage with IFAs where we hadn’t done previously.”

The wealth manager has built its approach around identifying like-minded IFAs who wanted to, “nurture their client base, provide them with good advice and then have trusted partners helping them to achieve the outcomes.”

They started by launching a tailored platform solution, enabling the team to speak directly to advisers. This early service was formative for the business and its approach to MPS. Colquhoun said, “Rather than advice firms outsourcing to accountants, we like to insource our proposition to the IFAs proposition itself.”

He continued, “We want to have a conversation like we would with any private client, and tailor the models we would put together for the underlying requirements of the IFA.”

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