Money Marketing (18/06/2019) – London’s access to wealthy clients and location can mean setting up a firm comes at a cost
The capital city may not really be paved with gold, but it has more than its fair share of wealthy clients for advisers to service.
Known as a place where people’s careers and businesses can thrive on the global stage, London has an international flavour that you can hear through the multitude of languages spoken and smell as you pass its many restaurants and street food outlets.
However, the capital is also known as one of the most expensive cities in the world, which impacts on business and exacerbates the poverty which can be just a stone’s throw from its affluent neighbourhoods. So what is it like to be an adviser in London?
By far the biggest benefit of being an adviser in London is greater choice – of premises, clients, staff, industry events, methods of transport, and even in what to do after work.
Sofat concedes that costs are a big drawback of running a business in the capital, and adds that it is harder to achieve a community feel in central London because there are so many offices, with people tending to work there, rather than live in the area.
IFS Wealth & Pensions director Ricky Chan agrees that overheads are a key challenge. “In London, costs are naturally a lot higher; generally anything you pay for is higher. When firms face higher costs, that translates into higher charges for clients,” he says. “But on the flip side, there is more choice and lots of opportunities.”
Chan says that because London has so many advice firms, legal practices and accountancy businesses, there is a lot of competition, and specialising in particular areas – in his case, pensions and ethical investments – helps companies to hold their own.