60-second interview: Tim Childe, head of Quilter Cheviot’s Jersey office and head of international
Tell me about your role at Quilter Cheviot.
My role has two main components; investment management and management. As an investment manager, I look after a varied client base, predominantly comprised of private clients residing in all parts of the globe. I am also responsible for a fast-growing office as well as the expansion of Quilter Cheviot’s international business, broadening our activity globally. For example, we recently celebrated the first year anniversary of our representative office in Dubai.
How has the private client industry changed over the last ten years?
We have had consolidation of the private client industry which has created larger more powerful players; assets under management have increased significantly; there is an ever-growing burden of legislation, combined with the ending of commissions (RDR), has clarified the distinction between financial advisers and investment managers, with income coming from management fees; and there is the increasing use of digital media to communicate with intermediaries and clients.
Can you tell us about one of your clients?
One that springs to mind is my introduction to a patriarch who headed up a large family, spanning several continents, at the beginning of my career. He was a larger than life character who, having suffered bad wartime experiences in the Second World War, went on to establish a significant and diverse global business empire. Whenever I met with him, once or twice a year, his energy, zest for life and genuine interest in the lives and well-being of others was an inspiration. Sadly, the client passed away some fifteen years ago but I am pleased to say that I still assist his children and grandchildren with their financial affairs.
Will Dubai benefit from Brexit?
Yes although it is widely thought that the bulk of any of the movement of jobs or businesses will end up in Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels or Dublin, but Dubai can bid for some aspects of this migration of the financial services industry, such as wealth management, along with Singapore and Hong Kong. Dubai has a number of attractions: it is a regional business and finance hub, with unrivalled access to the Gulf region, Africa, Central Asia and the Indian sub-continent. Brexit has provided Dubai with a real incentive to make changes that will attract new financial services companies, which it is well able to accomplish. And, compared to London and the rest of the European capitals, Dubai has the added attraction of having few corporate or income taxes.
What are the main challenges your clients are facing?
A greater need from clients for regular communication, particularly in the current changing market environments with political uncertainty causing volatility. I have found keeping in regular contact with clients and ensuring they are well informed gives them confidence.
Tell me about an achievement you are most proud of?
I am very proud of the strong, committed and highly respected teams we have built in in Jersey and most recently in Dubai. The average length of tenure in our Jersey office is fifteen years, which speaks for itself.
What trends do you see?
Regulatory changes will have an impact on our industry even though to a large extent the rigours of regulation are common sense and will enhance the service we provide to our clients. We have also seen a growing need for tailored investments, especially in regions such as the UAE where many financial adviser firms are beginning to see the benefits in outsourcing their advice service to investment experts. The financial industry in the Middle East is becoming more regulated and the investors are becoming more knowledgeable about their investments. Both of these factors work well for us.
What do you do to unwind?
I like to get outside, for a bit of jogging, going down to the beach or pottering about in the garden. A summer treat would be a trip across the water to France to enjoy the food.