(Pictured above: Katie Gilfillan, left, James Horniman, middle, and Eleanor Mahmoud, right)
New Zealand or French white wine? That is the biggest challenge we face today, writes Katie Gilfillan. If you’re hanging on tenterhooks to hear the answer, as though it were the world cup of wines, after spending a good while sniffing, swirling and sampling, the French was declared the winner. (Now there’s a statement you haven’t heard since 1998).
Wealth Manager’s Eleanor Mahmoud and I are talking to James Horniman, partner at James Hambro & Partners (JHP) at swanky basement wine bar Davy’s, located down a Harry Potter-esque alley in London.
Horniman and I fool ourselves into thinking we are the epitome of health and order Caesar salads, however, we do decide to share a side of chips, while Eleanor orders risotto.
As we crack open the delectable chardonnay we are interested to discuss how Horniman has shaped his successful career.
The year is 1992, entering the fast paced world of wealth management Horniman started his career at Morgan Grenfell. He then spent time in the banking world at HSBC and UBS before being appointed partner at JHP. He has worked with his dynamic team for 15 years, so it’s fair to say they’re a very close knit bunch.
After working for large private banks we wonder about the difference he sees since moving to a smaller boutique. ‘Because we’re an independent business we can be very quick and nimble with whatever change occurs,’ he explains. ‘It is very exhilarating to have more flexibility. It’s incredible, we’ve grown from nothing to £3 billion in only eight years.’
Describing their clients as being the biggest driver of growth, Horniman also credits JHP’s success to the dedication of the team: ‘The partners in the firm invest their money in the same way as their clients, so not only do we have a vested interest but also firmly believe in our investments.’
We discover that JHP favours direct equities, predominantly UK but with an increasing interest in direct European, Asian and Japanese equities: ‘Direct stocks make a portfolio more personal to a client. Stock picking is an enormous opportunity to make money for a client in a controlled way, which is why we like it. It also means we are able to build bespoke ethical portfolios for clients more easily.’
Finishing our delicious fries… I mean salads, Horniman reveals the stocks which excite him: ‘The disrupter stocks are the nirvana of this business, with the likes of Microsoft and Google being at the forefront. They’re making sure they’re at the cutting edge of technology over the next 15 years by constantly reinvesting themselves.’
Horniman has already showed the dedication of the JHP team to clients, but this extends beyond the office as he tells us about a new charity project the firm is involved in, Greenhouse Sports: ‘The project aims to get children more involved in sports and extra-curricular activities in inner city London. It is not a particularly well-known charity, but that’s what I like about it’, he says. ‘JHP are very generous, giving staff five days a year to take off and do the charity work of their choice.’
GLASS HALF EMPTY:
The demise of local communities around the UK – people need to get together again.
GLASS HALF FULL:
Life after Brexit – my personal view is to have a positive attitude on this. We need to be optimistic about the UK.