Leaders List interview: 60 seconds with Oliver Hart, Lombard Odier

Date: 06 Dec 2022

Silvia Ricciardi

Oliver Hart, Lombard Odier

Citywealth speaks to Oliver Hart, Executive Vice President – Senior Private Banker at Lombard Odier who works with UHNW UK-based and international families, trustees and family offices.

Tell Citywealth’s readers about your role.

My role encompasses the provision of investment management services to UHNW UK-based and international families, trustees and family offices. I am based in the Mayfair offices of the bank although I travel throughout the UK, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories.

I work with my clients to design bespoke investment strategies across all asset classes, including fixed income, equities and private assets. 

I am the key point of contact for all my clients and am responsible for maintaining the highest level of client service, starting with efficient on-boarding, designing investment frameworks and coordinating the complementary services we provide.

Investment reporting is key to providing clients with a clear picture of their assets and the decisions we have taken with them. I ensure each and every client’s reporting requirements are set up and managed to exacting standards. Our cutting-edge technology platform enhances our reporting capabilities and is accessible to clients via our highly secure My LO app.

What are the most pressing issues you are dealing with in your role at the moment?

Helping clients understand and navigate extreme financial market conditions. 2022 is a year that has unnerved investors and it’s a time when experience and a steady hand counts a great deal.

My role gives me a fantastic opportunity to be part of a fast-growing team in the UK, raising the bank’s profile and connecting with clients who value excellent service and a genuine depth of investment expertise. The challenge however, is managing the most precious commodity of all – time!

How would your clients describe you?

Fortunately they have left a few comments on my Citywealth profile, which provide an objective view! However, I always aim to be as responsive as humanly possible. This is the mark of a great banker and our clients should expect this. I like to think they would start with this trait.

Overseeing and advising some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and executives is as much about listening as it is dispensing my own thoughts. Understanding where a client ultimately wants to get to is key, but the path towards that successful outcome can be long and is only achieved through partnership. Listening leads to understanding and I hope they all feel I understand who they are and where they wish to get to.

The world is ever changing and we need to be able to react to unforeseen events, both at a macro level and also at a family level. Change happens gradually and then suddenly. My role is to be a constant in my clients’ lives, in times of change, flux and crisis, giving them the resources at my disposal and a sounding board to navigate life’s twists and turns.

What are the most important skills and personal qualities to succeed in your role?

Build your internal and external fan club. Give freely, whether that be time, insights, showing an interest or extending a network. Be a go-giver.

A private banker needs to have an innate curiosity with capital markets. Every day brings new developments and plenty of opinions, and markets are never boring. Form a view of the world and where it is going then consider more detailed positioning to take advantage of trends or safe harbours.

The glass is always half full, resilience is key and you never ever stop learning.

ESG: Are your clients familiar with ESG? Are they behaving differently in the present scenario?

Yes, as a B Corp private bank, sustainability is core to our entire investment process and we ensure all our clients are aware and familiar with the key principles of ESG.

I see a number of prospective clients who are silent observers of ESG. They have a genuine wish to allocate their capital thoughtfully and conscientiously but are in need of an uncomplicated description of how to do this effectively. This where we can help them.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?

You only have one reputation. Protect it, build it and earn it!

Click here to check Oliver Hart‘s Leaders List profile.

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