In­vest with­peace­of­mind

Bell Lawrie re­lies on get­ting to know its clients’ long- term needs to en­sure it max­imises their in­vest­ment re­turns, writes An­thony Har­ring­ton

The Herald Business - - Advertising Feature -

THE private client stock­broking firm, Bell Lawrie, can trace its ori­gins back to the mid19thCen­tury as a founder fir­mof the Scot­tish Stock Ex­change. The com­pany has grown through a se­ries of merg­ers, in­clud­ing be­com­ing part of the Brewin Dol­phin group in 1993, and is now part of a group em­ploy­ing 1,100 staff in 36 of­fices, with some £ 19bn of client funds un­der man­age­ment.

As Alec Lyell, a di­rec­tor with Bell Lawrie’s Glas­gow of­fice points out, there are now so many dif­fer­ent spe­cialised in­vest­ment op­por- tu­ni­ties, and the fi­nan­cial world is so fast mov­ing that clients re­ally do ben­e­fit from putting day- to- day in­vest­ment de­ci­sions into the hands of in­vest­ment pro­fes­sion­als. Bell Lawrie of­fers a range of ser­vices avail­able ei­ther on a dis­cre­tionary or ad­vi­sory ba­sis. With the lat­ter, if clients pre­fer to take the ma­jor­ity of their own in­vest­ment de­ci­sions, the firm can pro­vide ex­pert and per­sonal in­vest­ment ad­vice, and will act on the client’s in­struc­tions.

How­ever, the firm’s pref­er­ence is for dis­cre­tionary man­age­ment, where, af­ter de­tailed dis­cus­sions with the in­vest­ment man­ager, the choice of in­vest­ments and day­to­day trans­act­ing is in the hands of the client’s in­vest­ment man­ager.

“ Our Dis­cre­tionary Port­fo­lio Man­age­ment Ser­vice is rapidly be­com­ing our most pop­u­lar of­fer­ing,” says Lyell. “ It leaves the client free to get on with their own day to day ac­tiv­i­ties while we make all the in­vest­ment de­ci­sions on their be­half, tak­ing into ac­count the client’s ob­jec­tives.”

Cru­cially, dis­cre­tionary man­age­ment frees up the in­vest­ment man­ager to act quickly to take ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties that oc­cur to max­imise the re­turn to the client.

Bell Lawrie’s con­sid­er­able rep­u­ta­tion for be­spoke in­vest­ment man­age­ment has been built over many years. The group has a ded­i­cated re­search team based in Lon­don and all the in­vest­ment man­agers have ac­cess to the anal­y­sis pro­vided by the re­search team.

The firm’s ac­tiv­i­ties range from pro­vid­ing in­vest­ment ser­vices to high net worth in­di­vid­u­als, to run­ning pen­sion plans for com­pa­nies and man­ag­ing in­vest­ments for trusts and char­i­ties.

“ We run a full con­sul­ta­tive wealth man­age­ment op­er­a­tion with a ded­i­cated, qual­i­fied team, headed up by John Docherty. The team takes into ac­count the to­tal fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of each client, in­clud­ing prop­er­ties, pen­sions and in­her­i­tance tax. Plan­ning for school and univer­sity fees is an­other im­por­tant part of what we do,” he says.

In­creas­ingly peo­ple want not just port­fo­lio man­age­ment ser­vices but the full range of fi­nan­cial plan­ning. The firm also has a spe­cial­ist in­vest­ment trust op­er­a­tion and a spe­cial­ist unit trust op­er­a­tion.

The Glas­gow of­fice in­cludes a cor­po­rate broking ser­vice, which acts as ad­viser to some 55 plcs, on all mat­ters per­tain­ing to the Stock Ex­change, earn­ings an­nounce­ments and the like.

The cor­po­rate fi­nance side is in­volved in floata­tions, merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions. Headed by El­iz­a­beth Kennedy, the cor­po­rate fi­nance team is par­tic­u­larly strong in theAIM­mar­ket. Kennedy is on the Lon­don Stock Ex­change AIM ad­vi­sory group while her col­league, Jamie Cum­ming, is di­vi­sional di­rec­tor in charge of cor­po­rate broking.

“ Ours is very much a peo­ple and re­la­tion­ships busi­ness. One of the key strengths of the ser­vices we pro­vide is the re­la­tion­ship with the client,” Lyell says.

“ The firm is a great sup­porter of Scot­tish youth rugby, spon­sor­ing the Scot­tish Schools Cup and the Un­der- 15 Scot­tish Schools Cup. It works in part­ner­ship with Scot­tishRugby’s This­tle Rugby Trust to fos­ter young peo­ple’s en­joy­ment of the sport and to en­cour­age young­sters to take up the game. Through its spon­sor­ship Bell Lawrie pro­vides rugby kit for schools tak­ing part in the com­pe­ti­tion.

The firm is also well known for the Bell Lawrie Scot­tish Se­ries, the big­gest an­nual yacht­ing re­gatta inBri­tain af­ter Cowes Week, with up to 200 yachts com­pet­ing each year.

Bell Bax­ter win­ning this year’s Bell Lawrie Scot­tish Schools Cup

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