Investment Strategies

EXCLUSIVE: Titan Private Wealth Smiles On Luxury Goods

Amanda Cheesley Deputy Editor 9 July 2024

EXCLUSIVE: Titan Private Wealth Smiles On Luxury Goods

As investors face volatile markets and geopolitical tensions, an investment manager highlights his firm's top stock picks, as well as the outlook for 2024. 

While the global economy has its uncertainties, the luxury goods sector is one that UK-based Titan Private Wealth is happy to be bullish about. 

Titan Private Wealth's chief investment officer, Ian Wood, recently highlighted how his firm is heavily overweight in the luxury space, and slightly overweight in the tech sector.

Wood pinpointed Paris-based Hermès International, a French luxury goods brand established in 1837, as a top stock pick. Known for the Birkin Bag, named after the British and French actress and singer Jane Birkin, Hermès specialises in luxury leather goods, accessories and clothing.

“It is the best business we have,” Wood told this news service in an exclusive interview. “The wealthy continue to buy it. I would buy it all day long,” he said. Linda Lin at Scottish-based investment manager Baillie Gifford also said that wealthy Chinese will still opt for brands like Hermès.

The investment philosophy of Titan Private Wealth, part of the Titan Group, is based on investing in high-quality long-term growth firms that can generate consistent returns. “The equity market is not currently overvalued. Interest rates will come down and we are positive about the outlook,” he said.

After a difficult few years, Baillie Gifford is also optimistic about the outlook for growth stocks and investment opportunities in 2024. See more commentary here.

Wood is also invested in tech firm Nvidea. “It’s been a great investment,” he said. “We have a large exposure to artificial intelligence and a bias towards the US as we find a lot of quality companies there,” he continued. Nvidia, for instance, makes the chips that makes AI possible, and demand for Nvidia's chips has exceeded expectations.

Another top well-performing holding for Titan Private Wealth is Dutch firm ASML, a manufacturer of the lithography equipment needed to produce semiconductors. Wood also has a large exposure to the Danish healthcare firm Novo Nordisk, which produces drugs to tackle diabetes and obesity. With an estimated 1.9 billon obese people globally, the firm aims to achieve 20 per cent or more in weight loss without patients having to undergo surgery. The Danish firm has just overtaken LMVH as Europe's most valuable company. He also invests in US tech multinationals Microsoft and Alphabet.

Titan Wealth has been making a number of acquisitions recently to add to its capabilities. Since early 2022, Harrogate-based Cardale – now known as Titan Private Wealth – has been part of the Titan Wealth Group. It is an international financial services group that provides a detailed client-to-custody service covering advice, investment management and trade, custody of client assets and settlement services, together with a platform for independent financial advisors and discretionary fund managers.

After making a number of acquisitions recently, Titan Wealth's most recent completed deal has been with London-based investment boutique Wigmore Associates Wealth Management. The deal has increased Titan Wealth’s assets under management to over £17.4 billion ($22 billion).

Wigmore specialises in providing portfolio management services, together with pension, tax planning and inheritance tax advice to individuals, trusts, pension schemes, family offices, and charities. It also provides advice to high net worth individuals in high value and complex circumstances, the firm said in a statement.

Titan Wealth is a vertically integrated business offering custody, platform, discretionary fund management and financial planning, targeting £50 billion in assets under administration over the next three to five years and assets under management of £40 billion.

Backed by private equity, the latest acquisition is an example of the kind of M&A consolidation taking place in the UK's wealth industry. Titan also recently acquired Aspira Corporate Solutions as well as Loveday & Partners, a financial planning firm in Norwich with about £600 million in client assets. See more commentary here and here.

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