We established Wilcocks & Wilcocks (W&W) to focus on delivering leading-edge, holistic wealth management services to clients. Our goal was and is to deliver the highest quality of advice that we can to maximise the value we add for our clients, supported by exceptional client service, over the lifetime of the client and to future generations.
Over the last ten years, (January 1st 2017 will be Rob & Martin's 10 year anniversary together in business) we have created a business model that is still centred today on a small number of very important principles.
1. Clients always come first
The alignment of our interests is achieved in a number of ways:
· Fee-based services: W&W charges fees based on client assets. When investing your money we accept no commissions from product providers in any shape or form and where any are unavoidably received, these are rebated in full to the client. As such, our advice is revenue neutral and impartial.
· Transparency of other costs: all other service costs, such as custody of assets, are entirely transparent.
· Focus on cost reduction: W&W is in a position to use the collective purchasing power of its clients' assets to drive down provider costs at the service provider level. Small cost savings make large differences to outcomes over the long periods of time that most clients will be invested for.
2. Treating clients fairly (TCF) lies at the centre of W&W’s business model
We take our fiduciary responsibilities very seriously. We fully understand and care about the impact that our holistic advice has on our clients' lives and financial well-being. We place our clients at the core of the business. The TCF initiative guided by the FCA has a potentially profound and long-term beneficial impact on those firms that truly strive to make it an integral part of all aspects of their daily business. Our investment process has been designed to ensure that all clients are treated fairly, both individually and as a group.
3. Professionalism, expertise and reliability are essential qualities
We see these qualities as essential to delivering the quality of service we have set for our clients:
· Professionalism: This manifests itself in the systematic and disciplined approach that we have adopted to generating and implementing wealth management advice. Our goal is to be respected by our clients for our professionalism.
· Expertise: We seek to place ourselves at the leading edge of the profession in terms of our understanding of the issues that clients face and how they can be resolved. We seek to use leading tools and practices at appropriate points in the process and to ensure that we are able to make the best decisions that we can on behalf of our clients. Continuing professional development is an important focus for our business.
· Reliability: We recognise that reliability is the link that maximises the value to clients of the professionalism and expertise that we offer. Maintaining and building on our reputation for being reliable is a key goal. Reliability in all aspects of our relationship with our clients helps us to deliver this value proposition effectively and provides the peace of mind our clients seek. All staff undertake CPD as recommended by the FCA.
4. Decisions need to be based on the evidence available
We are responsible for advising our clients on making decisions in a number of areas. Our underlying philosophy is to make decisions on the basis of the evidence that is available. While that may not sound revolutionary in concept, it is in practice. Few advisers in the UK take the time to truly review and act on the evidence that is available to them, particularly when it comes to deciding what is most likely to work in investing and what is not.
Our approach is to make sure that we review the evidence that is available; consider it in a balanced way; decide how confident we are in what the evidence is telling us; judge the impact of adopting one course of action over another; and finally make a decision that is prudent in light of our analysis. The decisions that we take on behalf of our clients, from an investment advice perspective, are set out in our Investment Philosophy Document.
5. Advice is a lifelong journey and needs to be treated as such
We see the advice process as a lifelong journey: it needs thorough planning and the challenges along the way need to be anticipated and considered from the start; progress needs to be constantly reviewed in light of the current position; and where necessary, decisions made in light of the new circumstances.
We see our role both as the initial planner of the journey, as well as a lifelong partner to accompany you along the way - hand-holding, reassuring and informing. Keeping you on track and sticking to your plan is one of the most vital roles that we can play - an assertion backed by hard evidence.
6. Delivering simplicity from complexity helps to drive ownership
Finally, the ability to deliver advice that reduces the level of complexity to a number of simplified (rather than simplistic) concepts and decisions allows our clients to fully understand and take ownership of the advice delivered. With ownership comes responsibility and the acceptance of the nature of the partnership that exists between you and us. We seek to provide you with clear and concise documents, backed with discussion and education that allows you to build an informed perspective of the decisions that you face.
We have come a long way in ten years, yet looking back it still feels more like three years. Where does the time go? Here's to the next ten...