Richard Killingbeck, the managing director of EFG Harris Allday, tells Citywealth about growing the business, undertaking a significant investment in systems, and switching off at the weekend on his farm.
Tell Citywealth’s readers about your role.
I am the Managing Director of Harris Allday, a West Midlands-based Private Client Wealth Manager. I have the Senior Management Functions (SMF) responsibilities for this business which is 100% owned by the Swiss Bank EFG.
Talk us through a typical day.
There is never a typical day. I try and visit the three main offices (Birmingham, Ombersley and Shrewsbury) regularly, whilst continuing to grow our presence in London. Being part of a larger international bank means that my diary is not only filled with Harris Allday business but also, I attend key meetings of the Private Bank and of EFGIUK, the ultimate holding company. I try and attend as many client meetings as possible, but this is becoming more of a challenge. I have one or two dinners a week either with senior colleagues or potential contacts who might be able to help us further build the business.
What are you currently working on?
We are currently undertaking a significant investment in systems, which is due to be introduced in mid-summer, 2022. This will provide a quantum leap in capabilities across many aspects of our business. Such a system implementation results in a significant number of “moving parts” of which I am just a small cog. The team around me (whether in the UK or Switzerland) are helping to drive this transformational project.
Are your clients behaving differently post-pandemic?
Like many, the post pandemic environment has not immediately returned to business as usual, but we are now seeing a better normalisation of the working environment. Clients (both existing and new) have been very understanding in the new environment, and meetings in open places have become more frequent.
What are your top tips for managing stress?
I have always believed in having something totally different to occupy the weekends rather than the “day” job. Living on a farm, I have a small herd of pedigree Sussex cattle. Weekends are spent mucking out, laying new straw, and feeding them. In the Spring we are calving which always seems to occur in the early morning.
If you weren’t in the private wealth industry, what else might you be doing?
A farmer, although the current environment post-Brexit is not as positive an environment as one would have wished. The other career that I would have maybe pursued is that of an Architect … I am fascinated by the ability of Architects to design and build such buildings that exist across the world.