Wealth managers weigh tough Brexit relocation decisions

Brexit money

A number of wealth managers have expressed growing concerns about Brexit and where they should be based, Fund Strategy understands.

According to a senior industry source, in the last quarter of 2016 several wealth managers looked “more seriously and in depth” at their corporate activity to understand in practical terms what they would do after Brexit.

This included whether to grow or reshape their presence in different locations, as well as business structures and how delegation of the authority to manage funds would work.

The source says: “People have started to look more closely at what the equivalent legal arrangements are and found that, most of the time, they are very specific and partial and only work in certain ways for certain countries and products.”

Firms such as Cazenove – part of Schroders– with a more varied clientele around Europe are said to be “very concerned” about the work needed to prepare for the exit from the EU.

The source says other firms are “wary of getting involved as many of their clients might have the opposite view on the debate”.

More than 60 per cent of Schroders’ group revenues come from outside the UK and it already has 250 emp-loyees based in Luxembourg and 13 offices across Europe.

A Schroders spokeswoman says: “We believe it will take years for the UK to separate from the EU and we don’t know the terms of any future relationship.

“As we continue to work on understanding the wider implications in the long term, we expect minimal change in the short term.”

However, two-thirds of firms in the Wealth Management Association, including big names like Barclays Stockbrokers and Brewin Dolphin, do not have EU clients but are thought to have indicated a desire to be neutral on the politics of Brexit.