January has seen the launch of Depledge Strategic Wealth Management and this Newsletter aims to explain the structure and objectives of the company with a flavor of what to expect in the coming months and years.
Depledge Strategic Wealth Management has been established to provide a trusted partner to assist clients through the maze of wealth management at a time when good advice is in high demand.
In the first few months, it will be about welcoming clients to the new operation and business as usual. All of the elements that I had at my disposal via my previous organisations, have been re-established in Depledge Strategic Wealth Management. The new structure is detailed below.
For many years, my Grandfather, Frank Depledge, ran a successful Manchester based business that employed over a 120 employees for over 30 years. My Mother and Father became Directors within the business and so I grew up in a family of ‘hands on’ business owners where the essence was their commitment to providing a quality service to their customers by maintaining a high work ethic.
The success of the business led my parents to engaging the services of a financial adviser. I grew up witnessing the benefits of ongoing advice with a trusted confidant. Of all the professionals engaged, it was the financial adviser who won the trust and respect of my parents and laid the foundation for their wealth planning. My parent’s financial adviser also paved the way for me to enter the financial advice sector in 1996. I have now spent 17 years within a range of organisations:
- Investment Management
- Chartered Planning
My vast experience and the seeds of business knowledge that were planted so long ago are now brought together under the old family name to continue serving clients to the highest standards. Depledge stands for trust, integrity and sound judgment.
Andrew J Day LLB(hons), FPFS
Financial advice has never been so important with the perfect storm of ingredients:
- One of the long lasting effects of the 2008 financial crisis is the most penal taxation regime in a generation. Successive UK Governments will need to tackle the £1 trillion debt level that the UK operates and therefore tax will remain at higher levels for a long time to come.
- The current non-standard investment conditions has led to a demand for cautious long term management techniques to manage capital and income over the longer term.
- We are all expected to live much longer than previous generations – Steven Austad, of the University of Texas, recently told the BBC that the life span for a human being may be much longer than most people have considered possible – he was virtually certain some children alive now would live to the year 2150.
- Record numbers of complaints have been made about financial services firms. Over 500,000 complaints were made to the Financial Ombudsman to the year ending 31st March 2013 (Source: FOS 2013) with banks accounting for the lions share.
Introducing Our Main Partners
Depledge Strategic Wealth Management has already partnered with some of the highest quality companies operating in financial services today:
Sense is a modern, whole of market network designed specifically to provide services to forward-thinking Independent Financial Adviser firms. Built on fundamental principles of value for money and quality of delivery, the company provides a comprehensive range of services to help adviser firms operate efficiently, profitably and compliantly.They are strong believers in technology. A backbone of market leading technology streamlines and simplifies time-consuming processes and allows more time to be spent on productive activities. From a regulatory, administrative and technological perspective Sense provide the rails on which to run. Sense now operate in partnership with over 74 financial advisory businesses in the UK covering approximately 191 advisers that collectively turnover over £13.6 million.
A lot of work that Depledge Strategic Wealth Management completes will be of a complex nature. It is therefore re-assuring for both DSWM and its clients that Sense Network has technical specialists that will ensure that all advice is correct on all complex areas of advice.
IntelliFlo Ltd has grown out of their desire to provide state of the art software that is keenly aligned with the business needs of their user base across the financial services sector.
Formed in 2004, they are based in Kingston-upon-Thames. Success is read in results. Since inception they have achieved a year on year increase in profitability – even through the recession – and a steady increase in people wanting to join IntelliFlo, both as customers and as part of their team.
Throughout their first five years, growth in our user numbers rapidly outstripped their largest competitor, to the point where their growth has been second to none. They now have over 8,000 users across 1,000 firms. Their sales in 2011 topped £8.8m, up from £6.4m in 2010, a clear indicator of the presence that IntelliFlo has in the market.
Many advisers, particularly larger firms are moving to a ‘restricted advice’ basis that essentially means that they will advise from a limited number of product providers across the market place.
Indeed, to offer ‘independent advice’ it is appropriate and a regulatory requirement to ensure that Depledge Strategic Wealth Management has access to research across the entire marketplace.
Sense Network complete extensive research into the market place and utilise a number of companies covering specialist areas of the market. These include: Threesixty, The Platform People, Allenbridge and Selectapension.
Depledge Strategic Wealth Management will compliment this basis of research with its own research activity. Specifically in the world of fund management, we will look to tap into the research of Financial Express (FE), one of the large fund research companies covering the entire fund universe. FE collect data on over 200,000 instruments directly from each source and management group, as the core foundation to all their extensive research services.
Over the last 15 years I have been advising many of you on accumulating wealth primarily through tax efficient wrappers. Those of you who I have been acting on your behalf for a long time may recall when a large number of unit trusts were held directly with different fund managers. Technology in more recent times has allowed investors to hold assets from a central source with now over £210 billion held on platforms in the UK allowing investors to hold different fund managers from one central administration source. This market is constantly evolving through regulatory intervention and competition within the marketplace. The two platforms that I have utilised most for clients is Skandia (Old Mutual Wealth) and the SIPP Centre (AJ Bell Investments). As the market continues to evolve into 2014, Depledge Strategic Wealth Management will complete our Platform proposition paper to confirm the basis of our recommendations in this important area.
The leading 100 shares in the UK as measured by the FTSE 100 Index reached 6930 points on the 1st December 1999. Some 13 years later we are approaching these levels again having been through a volatile period that incorporated two brief periods in early 2003 and 2009 when the FTSE 100 was below the 4000 points barrier.
For much of this period my advice has centered on creating diversified portfolios that generate attractive incomes yields that have been re-invested to boost returns. Incorporating managers that have provided strategic and tactical asset allocation decisions has proved valuable through some difficult periods, particularly post the collapse of Lehman Brothers. For all long term clients we now have profits built into portfolios and potentially a different investment outlook.
The concerted efforts across developed countries to provide stimulus’ to their economies will gradually come to an end in the coming years. It is expected that this process will be managed to ensure that the good work does not come undone, however, as central banks continue to underpin economies – this position remains anything but standard. It is therefore, the intention to build on the good work of the past and to enhance the investment proposition, with these conditions in mind:
- 2014 will see the formation of the Depledge Strategic Wealth Management Investment Committee to oversee the advice provided to clients.
- Our forthcoming Investment Proposition paper will set out the different basis’ of portfolio construction and the different solutions to meet your different needs.