5-minute interview: Penny Lovell, Head of Private Client Strategies at Close Brothers Asset Management

Date: 24 Jun 2013


Explain your new role
My key focus is the overall service we provide our clients. Service is a point of pride at Close Brothers: it’s about confidence and understanding what keeps our clients awake at night. At Close, we like to build stronger ties with family offices, consultants and intermediaries, thereby ensuring that we provide a full wealth-structuring capability to our clients.

What are clients asking for in terms of service requirements?
The uncertainty over the last few years has resulted in clients seeking a deeper understanding of how their investments are managed. They want to work more closely than ever with their Portfolio Manager and are keen to take advantage of any financial planning opportunities. This gives us a great opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of our wealth-structuring expertise. We continue to provide bespoke segregated portfolios with direct and immediate access to a Portfolio Manager. This service sits at the heart of what we do every day. Clients love this and we are able to build a trusting and truly long-term relationship.

Are clients getting more challenging?
At Close we undertake regular client surveys so we understand how our clients’ needs are evolving. The key theme this year from clients is the importance of good communication. Our clients really appreciate working with Portfolio Managers who continue to deliver good performance in periods of market stress and who consistently reach out to discuss positioning and strategy. They want to feel valued as a client and they need to know that their portfolio is genuinely bespoke. Our Next Generation service ensures we engage successfully with all family members.

Which UHNW client would be your ideal lunch companion?
I think it would have to be Keith and Maureen Mills. An inspirational couple and Sir Keith always achieves momentum in everything he does. I’m interested in his work with Sported ‚Äì since taking up boxing with Mark at Fitzroy Lodge, my eyes have been opened about the huge benefits of sport for everyone. Hopefully we’d have time to chat about Pennies the electronic charity box too ‚Äì an amazing concept.

Have you a quote about life?
We’re probably all guilty of not listening enough. In my role it’s fundamental that I listen to clients. Martyn Gowar recently reminded me of a quotation from the Rockefeller family. It’s a great message and perfect for us all as trusted advisers:
‘A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw, the less he spoke,
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird’

What does Close do for its People, the Planet and Profit?
Close is a people- and service-driven business. We know it’s not enough to hide behind the veneer of a green CSR policy. We are ‘blue sky’ thinkers. Our CIO Nancy Curtin is making significant headway with her passion for improving education opportunities in the developing world. There is much to do in the UK, too, and our clients work alongside us on dedicated philanthropy days. Close is excited and supportive about Pennies which we hope will revolutionise charitable giving in Britain.


Have you seen our mentoring videos?

The Citywealth International Financial Centre Awards are coming up for their third year. Closing date for submissions is 12th July 2013.

More information

Citywealth has three distinct areas to it’s business all of which focus on connecting and informing the global, private wealth management, private client intermediary and uhnw community.

The three areas we cover are: 1. information in the form of: two print magazines – one covers international financial centres and the other is a global publication on the industry with leaders list directories in both/ e-newsletter – monthly – profiles and features/ app/ website, then 2. we have two awards ceremonies and finally 3. networking clubs.

1. Information in the form of: print/ e newsletter/ app/ website

Citywealth has a monthly newsletter with uhnw features, news and lifestyle each issue. This information is backed up on the website as an archive only available to subscribers. Subscriptions cost £500 + vat for multiple email addresses. It is delivered to email boxes globally.

Citywealth publishes in print and online, guides to leading individuals “leaders lists” in the wealth management industry at certain times of the year. Submission forms are required and two testimonials from peers or clients to support their entry into our recommended advisor/manager lists. These lists are checked and updated each year.

2. Awards ceremonies

Citywealth Magic Circle Awards: 16th May 2013
In their 8th year
400 + attendees

Citywealth holds an annual awards to find best advisors and managers in the global industry. Awards are judged by nominations sent in by the global industry then refined and selected by industry judges (usually ten global experts). There is also online voting. This is a chance to meet major private investors from a pool of the worlds wealthiest individuals and their advisers and managers. It is also an ideal platform to promote expensive lifestyle offerings and make charitable appeals.

Citywealth International Financial Centre Awards: January each year
In their third year
160 + attendees

Citywealth IFC Awards to find the best wealth advisors and managers in the Caribbean, Switzerland and UK Offshore. 160+ attendees.

3. Networking clubs: Citywealth Tomorrow Club: Citywealth YP and Citywealth Women in Wealth Supper Club

Citywealth Tomorrow Club
6.30-8.30pm /Four events a year/cocktails
60+ attendees

Citywealth Tomorrow Club aims to help mentor advisers and managers in their first or second job in the industry and help them up the career ladder. It also allows members to find their own group of contacts. Maximum four individuals allowed from any one organisation. Four cocktail party networking events per year with mentor speakers. Membership fees apply. See video library

CITYWEALTH YP: A business development networking club.
6.30-8.30pm/Four events a year /cocktails
60+ attendees

6.30-8.30pm /Four events a year/supper event
60+ attendees

Held in London each quarter we have an educational speaker, drinks and light supper to facilitate business networking. The group has 60 + members from private wealth and private client. Entry into the group is with twenty years + work experience in this industry sector only.

Citywealth also an Asian diaspora club called The Shanghai Delhi Club for UHNW +£100million private individuals. This is VIP invite only and wealth managers and advisors may only attend by sponsoring the club.

NEW initiatives for 2013

Citywealth has launched a mentor speaker library offering help and information for those in the industry from a mix of experts and uhnw entrepreneurs. The mentor speakers talk at our events to help prepare the upcoming generation and assist with corporate succession planning.


Citywealth was founded in 2005. Our aim is to bring together the diverse groups involved in the business of advising the UHNW and HNW community. Citywealth newsletter is subscribed to, read by and exclusively circulated to advisers and managers to the super rich.

Over 2,800 organisations receive Citywealth and the total readership is an estimated 9,500 senior executives globally from blue chip institutions and professional services firms who read Citywealth for its industry news, authoritative comment, topical features and people moves. Corporate subscriptions are £500 + VAT per annum.

What type of organisation reads Citywealth?

• Family Offices
• Private Client Law Firms
• Accountancy Firms
• Fiduciary and Trust & Estate Planning Companies
• Private Banks
• Wealth Manager
• Investment Manager
• Charities

What type of individual?

Citywealth’s readership is the senior management of the organisations it goes to. For example, it goes to partners in law firms and accountancy firms, directors and above in banks, directors of trust companies. It is also read by uhnw individuals.


Citywealth’s readership is split:

• UK/Channel Islands/IoM 56%
• Europe 16%
• Switzerland 12%
• Caribbean 5%
• Middle East 6%
• Asia 3%
• Other 2%

Contact office number (Marble Arch)

+ 44 (0) 20 7224 9565

Karen Jones, Editor

Joe Bell, Managing Director

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