Adviser profile: Mandy Dale and Chris Emery of Hanbury Wealth

Hanbury Wealth is growing, and Mandy Dale and Chris Emery have set their sights on more joint ventures in the future.

Hanbury Wealth in numbers

The chart above shows Hanbury's healthy growth over the last three years. 

The figures for 2018 are projected. 

Hanbury Wealth in numbers

The chart above shows Hanbury's healthy growth over the last three years. 

The figures for 2018 are projected. 

The CVs (Part One)

Mandy Dale 

2009–present: Hanbury Wealth, director

2005–2009: Partners Wealth Management, paraplanners

Professional Memberships and Qualifications:

  • IMC (CFA)
  • Diploma in Financial Planning
  • Certificate in Financial Planning
  • Award in Pensions Update
  • Certificate in Mortgage Advice
  • Certificate in Life and Pensions

The CVs (Part Two)

Chris Emery

2010–present: Hanbury Wealth, managing director

2005–2010: Conforto Financial Management, client services director

2001–2005: AIA Limited, financial adviser

1998–2003: Sobell Rhodes Financial Advisers, financial adviser

Professional Memberships and Qualifications:

  • Diploma in Financial Planning
  • Financial Planning Certificate
  • Certificate in Mortgage Advice
  • Certificate in Life & Pensions
  • Award in Long Term Care Insurance

Out of the big smoke

Around nine years ago, Mandy Dale was sitting on a train home from work in London. It was one of those 45 minute journeys that, due to delays, was taking around three hours. Typical for the city that was starting to grate on her, she thought. She had recently moved to the market town of Hitchin in Hertfordshire to get away from precisely this.

Flicking through a copy of New Model Adviser®, she saw an article about a Hitchin-based IFA and decided to drop her CV there. The next day she received a call, and shortly after started working as a paraplanner at Hanbury Wealth.

Dale is now director at Hanbury Wealth (previously a New Model Adviser® profiled firm 2012), which has moved out of Hitchin to its nearby Bishop’s Stortford office. She oversees the technical team, the administration team and the in-house investment committee. Essentially she runs the office day-to-day, reporting in to managing director Chris Emery, who also oversees the adviser team.

'Advisers aren’t central to the business anymore,' Emery says. 'They deliver the information. But they’re no longer the architects in the way they used to be. It’s all about the team who are here, day-to-day, putting together the framework.'

Taking on team members

The team is growing, particularly as Hanbury Wealth continues to streamline its processes. It now has an in-house compliance team and has taken on a trainee administrator, Joe Kean, who the firm is sponsoring through the Old Mutual Wealth adviser school. Kean has been spending time getting to know each department, and is referred to by Dale and Emery as 'the hub.'

'The report writing process involves more research than it used to,' says Dale. 'So we’ve brought in Joe. Everything between paraplanners and advisers will have to pass through him. He makes sure everything is properly completed, and also adds data he has gathered and information he has researched.'

Having a hub means paraplanning can work as a pooled resource, as Kean can allocate adviser work as needed. But some advisers at the firm still prefer to use the same paraplanner for everything.

'Pooled paraplanning works for some, but not for others,' Emery says. 'So just saying "we just do pooled" or "we’ll just do individual" will not work.'

But Dale adds: 'As we grow and take on more advisers, I would like them all to embrace the pooled paraplanning, with Joe as the hub.'

Succession planning

Kean is the son of Hanbury adviser Derek Kean. Emery thinks Joe may pick up the reigns when Derek retires. 'I can see some succession here on Derek’s client bank,' he says.

Emery has not thought about his own succession, however. 'I’m 43 and Mandy is 36,' he says. 'The business is not for sale. We’re not going to be sucked up by a consolidator. The best way to exit the business in the future might be to do some sort of management buyout.

'We have been approached. A while ago we had SJP [St James’ Place] come sniffing around, but we don’t need to sell now. Ask me again in 10 years, and we may have an answer.'

Despite the success with Kean, Emery says recruitment in Bishop’s Stortford can be a challenge. 'We have difficulty finding good advisers or paraplanners who want to live and work in this area, because it’s so easy to get into London.'

The firm has found some space in London, with an accountancy firm it works closely with. One adviser, Patrick Naile, is now based out of the London office, and the firm is looking to recruit another paraplanner there.

For now, Emery’s future focus is on Hanbury Wealth’s joint ventures. It has one with Barnet-based accountancy practice Jeff Lermer & Associates, and another with solicitors Nockolds down the road in Bishop’s Stortford. 31 May signalled the end of Nockolds Wealth’s second full year of trading with Hanbury Wealth, reporting around 30% growth.

Darren Hayward, managing partner at Nockolds, says: ‘We had relationships with various financial advisers as lawyers to some extent. But the trouble was we had no very clear or defined relationship with one particular IFA.

'I got to meet Chris and we developed a relationship. We liked what Hanbury Wealth was about and started referring clients. Eventually we thought we could actually have a joint venture. This is under the Nockolds branding, so clients are more comfortable,' he says.

'It’s gone incredibly well. We get on really well with Chris, Mandy and the team. We have seen growth in the business. As a mere lawyer, I wasn’t aware of the potential in the financial profession.'

Emery says he is in talks with two other potential joint ventures. He seems genuinely excited about the progress the current two are making. 'They are appointed representatives of Hanbury at the moment. But they might cut ties in the future once they’ve grown up and stand on their two feet,' he says.

Outside activities

Another excitement for Emery is supporting his football team, Spurs; he has secured some 'fabulous seats' at their new stadium to treat clients with.

Aside from that, he has spent much of the first part of the year on ski slopes, partaking in heli-skiing (off trail skiing where routes are accessed by helicopter). But just the mention of it gives Dale a slightly terrified expression.

Volunteering is more up her street. She works at a local school every Friday morning swimming with disabled children. 'It’s fantastic, I absolutely love it,' she says.

'I do go out with my friends and have fun, but I really am a workaholic. I’m just really passionate about what we do and I really enjoy it, so it doesn’t feel like work.'

The Fee Bit...

Hanbury Wealth is currently working on a new template for its initial fees. 'If it wasn't for a couple of little things, like GDPR and Mifid II, we would have it done by now,' Emery says.

Ongoing fees are charged as a percentage, starting at 1% and tapering down for clients with larger funds under advice. But the team are looking at fixed fees for initial and implementation.

The idea is to create a matrix so the team can essentially tick priced boxes per piece of work that is required to determine a quote. At the moment, the average initial and implementation fee is around £5,000.

'We don’t have many complaints about fees,' Emery says. 'The cost of doing business seems to be going up and up, but there’s downward pressure from the media and trade press. But I think fees are generally in the right place. I’m pretty sure not everyone in the industry agrees. But our clients seem happy.'

For this, clients can receive quarterly or annual meetings, access to investment committee research, and access to the technical team. Higher value clients receive a bespoke service depending on what they want. For example, because many of Emery’s clients are entrepreneurs, they are used to receiving monthly updates, which Hanbury Wealth caters for. His elderly clients, who were used to owning businesses and now have time on their hands, often book in monthly meetings: even if it ends up 'spending 10 minutes talking about their investments and an hour talking about Spurs.'

The investment bit...

The firm runs 10 in-house model portfolios run on an advisory basis.

Dale sits on Hanbury Wealth’s investment committee, alongside paraplanners Christina Georgiou and Kerry Shillingford, compliance manager Richard Elliott, and new hire Kean.

For the firm’s model in-house portfolios, the team uses Distribution Technology’s risk profile questionnaire and uses Distribution Technology for the corresponding asset allocation. It then selects funds using the Hanbury Wealth Algorithm.

'The algorithm is a sort of battery of tests,' says Dale. 'It looks at ratings, fund managers, quartile rankings and performance during certain economic events.

'It’s like a filtering process, as there are a number of different tests the funds go through. There’s a scoring system. If the numbers add up, we include the fund.'

To select these filters, the team spoke to discretionary fund managers (DFMs), fund houses and economists, as well as doing their own research and reading.

As its client bank grows, Hanbury Wealth is also looking into MyFolio and multi-manager funds, which may better suit some clients. It also uses DFM Investec, among others for clients where appropriate. And for clients with less than £100,000 to invest, Vanguard LifeStrategy is an option. 

Dale says to work out the active and passive split represented here, she looked at where the bulk of assets were. It was Old Mutual Wealth, with around £90 million. She then looked at its report and the split it showed. 'We’re not hell bent on passive or active,' Emery says.

The investment breakdown:

Hanbury favours active investing, with the following making up its model portfolios.

Behind the scenes

Hanbury Wealth uses the above technology to power its proposition. 

And finally...

Hanbury Wealth has a 12-month goal, which is to:

Grow the business, the team and the client bank.

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