Marcela Kunova from Citywealth Magazine speaks with Mary-Anne Daly about her role as Deputy CEO and the world of wealth management.
Tell me about your role as deputy CEO at Cazenove Capital Management.
I head up our wealth management business in the UK. This involves providing portfolio management, wealth planning and banking services to private clients, trustees and charities. We also have a dedicated team providing discretionary fund management services to IFAs.
What are your concerns?
The uncertainty resulting from the EU referendum will no doubt cause a prolonged period of market volatility and our priority is to ensure that client portfolios are positioned to dampen that volatility while taking advantage of opportunities as they arise. Another challenge we face, as do all our peers in the industry, are the numerous new regulatory initiatives which will take place over the next two years. These include the Common Reporting Standard, MiFID II and the new Market Abuse rules. This regulatory flux creates a demanding compliance environment which we are well placed to face but it will require some changes to our business.
Tell us about your ultra-high-net-worth clients.
We act as adviser to some hundred investors with over £25 million of assets each with us and representing a total of circa £10 billion AUM.
What trends do you see?
In the light of the duller returns from markets over the last couple of years, we have seen an increasing interest from clients in the use of passive investments alongside active funds. There is a role for passive investments in portfolio construction, either to access those areas where active managers, however skilled, find it difficult to outperform consistently, or to gain quick access to a market. This increased focused on costs is here to stay. Also, the interest in Socially Responsible Investing continues to grow which has caused a revival in interest in directly invested portfolios. We are also closely watching the progress made by roboadvisers in the stricter regulatory environment.
Do your clients get involved with philanthropy?
Philanthropy is becoming an increasingly high priority for our UHNW clients. Many of them have used charitable giving as a method of gradual financial introduction for the next generation, either by bringing the individuals into the family-giving decision-making process or by allowing them to determine their own giving strategy. Either route is beneficial as it allows the next generation to get involved in personal areas of interest and understand the responsibilities associated with having wealth.
What advice would you give to young women who want to build a career in the City?
I have never seen myself as any different to my male colleagues in building my career, even when there were far fewer women in the City. The advice I would give to young women is the same that I would give to any member of my team: focus on delivering the best quality work that you can, work hard but have fun doing so; value other team members, respect their individual skills and be prepared to challenge the status quo. Every one of us can make a difference.
How do you relax?
I enjoy every minute I spend at work but miss spending time outdoors and playing sport, something I did a lot more of in growing up in the Middle-East. So when I do get time to myself, I spend time exercising, keeping fit and enjoying my family.