Sian Gulliver | 4 min read
One of London’s most desirable areas, it’s home to high-end designer clothes, fine dining and the air is full of the expectation of white glove service.
Unsurprisingly then, it has become something of a hub for elite wealth management companies over recent years. One of these firms is Saranac Partners which, despite its relatively short history, is now well established here, providing bespoke wealth management services for ultra-high net worth clients.
A simple client-centred approach
Like most of the financial services industry, wealth management is in a period of transformation. Add in the complexities of recent regulation and the changing political landscape and there is a lot to navigate. But Saranac Partners’ COO, Andrew Catterall, tells us it’s built its proposition and its technology around an ethos of client-centred simplicity.
When we ask Catterall what this means, it is clear that the business operates with well-oiled precision.
“We are a close knit team of carefully selected, very experienced, well connected individuals who saw an opportunity in the industry to provide clients with a better offering.”
"Our model is not generalist. Our people focus specifically on what they do best. As a client this means you interact directly with the expertise instead of navigating organisational layers, unlike in large institutions. We bring the breadth of capability of those large institutions together with the service and quality of a boutique."
We're able to leverage the professionalism we have within our team in an agile way.
"Our open architecture means we are able to solve problems for clients in a creative way, rather than selling a Saranac Partners specific solution. For example, our access to varied sources of balance sheets rather than being tied to one. We're able to leverage the professionalism we have within our team in an agile way.”
The service expectation of the ultra high-net worth
At the heart of this business, and of course the industry as a whole, is the relationship between the adviser and client. However, Saranac Partners knows for its client base, this translates to expectations of round the clock access to portfolios and the people managing them on their behalf. The business has looked to bespoke technology to help them manage the challenges of providing heightened responses.
“We need to be there 24/7 for our clients. It is important clients have direct access to up-to-date information through our app and direct access to the relevant team members. Clients want the best service all the time, not just when there is an issue."
Our business is created on a partnership between imagination, design of technology and delivery of client service.
“Our app means clients can see everything they need on a ‘peel the onion’ basis. It takes their accounts, holdings and performance down to granular detail should this be of interest, or provides a high level summary if the client is just looking for a snapshot.”
Imagination, vision and the right technology
The app is part of Saranac Partners’ overall approach to its business infrastructure.
“Our business is created on a partnership between imagination, design of technology and delivery of client service - all working together. One can’t be done without the other. It’s why we need strong strategic partnerships.
"Our clients’ expectations are evolving. Some of our clients want new ways of doing things and want to hear how new technology can improve access to information, the service they receive and how they interact with us."
I’m interested in the use of voice to present information. We have a set of clients who would very much like to interact like that.
“They also want to hear how new technology can make the process even better for them. So I’m very interested in the use of voice as a way to present information. I think we have a set of clients who would very much like to interact like that.”
With an unwavering focus on where technology can be used to improve service and client interaction, firms such as Saranac Partners are well-placed to continue to thrive in this ever-evolving industry.
2015 Saranac Partners co-founder and chief operating officer.
25 years of experience in investment management and management consulting.
Saranac Partners Saranac Partners is a wealth management partnership based in London, which launched in 2016.