Family Office

Wren Investment Office Marks Fifth Year, Appoints New CIO

Shirin Aguiar Reporter London 18 February 2022

Wren Investment Office Marks Fifth Year, Appoints New CIO

Part of an international alliance, the HNW/UHNW investment management business has more than doubled its head count as it marks its fifth year of offering to wealthy clients.

London-based multi-family office Wren Investment Management has appointed Eirian Jones (pictured) as chief investment officer and made other senior and executive hires as it expands in its fifth year.

Jones, one of the founders of Wren, is taking over from Daniel de Fernando who is stepping aside, as announced last year. De Fernando will remain a non-executive director on the investment committee.

The firm has also appointed William Drake as a senior advisor.  A family office veteran, he co-founded, with Adam Wethered, chairman of Wren, Lord North Street, the private investment office, in 2000, building the business up to and through its merger with SandAire in 2014. He is currently chairman of RFR, high-value residential property experts, advising private offices and private clients and their professional advisors.

The firm has also appointed Robert Mason as private equity consultant. Also a family office veteran, Mason has worked alongside Wethered and Drake extensively, advising families on private equity investment. With 37 years experience in investment markets, he has been a consultant with Lord North Street and SandAire from 2007 to 2020. He is a trustee and advisor for several families and an investor and board member for start-up technology businesses.

Wren has also made executive appointments. Dan Young has joined as client relationship associate director; he was previously at Stonehage Fleming. Luke Heywood-Jones has joined as an investment analyst, Roger Windmill has been added to the operations team, and Alice Woods to the client relationship team.

“Eirian Jones has been a great force on our investment committee for the last five years and we are delighted that he has moved into his new role as CIO. Having worked alongside him for much longer, I and my colleagues know his outstanding abilities well,” Michael Parsons, chief executive officer of Wren, said.

“We are exceptionally grateful for Daniel de Fernando’s enormous contribution as CIO hitherto and are grateful that he will remain on our investment committee.  Added to this, we are fortunate to bring the multi-year wisdom to our clients amassed by William Drake and Robert Mason who have careers spanning three decades of [providing] high-level advice to wealthy families and endowments. They have exceptional and intricate knowledge of the workings and needs of multi-generational family wealth and endowments, and will be invaluable with our expanding client base.”

“The most successful families and endowments treat their wealth as an “enterprise,” having it managed like a business, with structure, strategy and suitable metrics. Our aim is to help these families and trustees have their affairs as a well-run virtual family office enterprise, guiding clients and implementing as needed,” Adam Wethered, chairman of Wren, said.

“This increasingly includes advice in aligning their investments to their ESG and climate change concerns. Our aim is to help families and trustees to find the best from the investment world, enabling them to protect, grow and enjoy their wealth.”

The firm’s business has grown to £2.8 billion ($4.5 billion) of assets. It has the following business lines: wealth advice, investment management and family office services to wealthy UK and international families, their family offices, endowments and charities. Clients typically of the order of £50 million to £200 million are suited to Wren’s services, there being no stated minimum or maximum, the firm told this publication.

On its establishment in 2016, Wren became the third arm of a cooperating international alliance consisting of Wren in the UK, WE Family Offices in the US and MDF Family Partners in Spain. The three firms in the alliance are responsible by way of advice and oversight for a combined £15 billion of assets. 

Owned by its directors, employees and alliance members, Wren intentionally has no dominant shareholder or client family, it said in a statement.

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