LGT Wealth Management has been through a lot of change, and has been building its footprint in the UK, such as in Scotland. WealthBriefing talks to one of its senior figures about how it is making progress.
In times of stress, certain qualities stand out. And at LGT Wealth Management in the UK, being a part of a family-owned banking group without the worry of gyrating company share prices or competing agendas is a relief.
LGT Wealth Management – the business born out of the old Vestra Wealth firm that was acquired in full by Liechtenstein’s LGT in 2020 – is in a good place because of the solidity of its owner, and alignment of objectives, a senior figure told this publication. (LGT initially took a stake in Vestra in 2016. Vestra was created in 2008 by a breakaway team of UK wealth managers at UBS.)
“The entrepreneurial nature has stayed within it [the UK business]….from our perspective, what really helps us is the family ownership,” Ben Snee, chief executive at LGT Wealth Management, said in his offices in the City.
This is a growing business, and one that is seeking to take advantage of a fragmented UK wealth management market where no one single firm has a dominant share.
A few weeks ago, LGT Wealth Management began the purchase of abrdn’s discretionary wealth management business, which holds £6.1 billion in AuM, and will assume the client relationships of that business when the deal closes. The transaction includes the entire 140 staff, which will take LGT Wealth Management’s employee total to around 650 people. The firm will also take on the abrdn DFM offices in Birmingham and Leeds. (It also has an office in London, Bristol, Edinburgh and Jersey.)
When the deal is completed, LGT Wealth Management will expand its AuM from around £22 billion, as of January this year, to more than £28 billion. To put that figure into context, AuM was £6 billion in 2016. In five years’ time, the business wants to bump that number up to £40 billion. The business has also been hiring. In February it appointed Elliott O’Brien as head of business transformation (formerly with HSBC Private Banking). In December last year the firm appointed Sanjay Rijhsinghani as chief investment officer. He succeeded Jonathan Marriott, who retired after 40 years in the investment industry and nine years at the company. It also made a number of hires in Scotland, and opened its first Scottish office, in Edinburgh, last June.
And, as Snee pointed out, the LGT presence in the business means that the wealth firm has a bank with a balance sheet, and can provide lending as part of the offering.
Much of the client base is entrepreneurial, and domestic, while the firm also caters to a number of resident non-doms. To add to this international dimension, LGT Wealth Management acquired a team of Middle East-facing advisors from Credit Suisse about six months ago.
LGT Wealth Management knows that its clients, often entrepreneurs, like investing in areas such as private equity and venture capital. As part of its model, clients can have access to the offerings from LGT Capital Partners as well as those from LGT Wealth Management’s Private Equity team, Snee said.
“We charge a flat fee – our structure ensures there is never a financial incentive for client advisors to select one asset class or product over another,” he said.
“We have got the wind in our sails and we are probably the fastest organically growing business in the sector in the UK,” he said.