UHNW Wealth Managers
Wealth Management & Private Banking
‘We aim to be absolutely pivotal to a small number of very material private clients,’ says Giles Pascoe, the leader of one of Goldman Sachs’ largest private wealth teams in London, which he describes as a ‘boutique’ within the GS wealth management business.
Around 60 per cent of his clients are entrepreneurs who have sold their businesses; a further 30 per cent are private equity partners with ‘substantial’ realised carry. He likens his role to that of a personal CIO to each client. ‘We do institutional-quality investment planning and implementation. That’s 90 per cent of the job for clients,’ he says.
The bank’s brokerage offering helps clients to manage other risks, such as currency. ‘All very wealthy people should be mindful of currency,’ Pascoe says, adding that the bank’s extensive private investments platform is an ‘increasingly important part of our client offering’.
Goldman introduced a single-fee structure for discretionary portfolios three years ago, which Pascoe’s clients have adopted for the bulk of their portfolios. ‘This fundamental change convinces even the most sceptical clients that we are entirely on their side,’ he says. ‘The portfolio is implemented this way because we think it is for optimal risk-adjusted net returns. There can be no conflict of interest.’
Nuances arise due to circumstance, precise objectives, preferences, structuring and the assorted tax sensitivities, but ultimately clients are united by their common desire to find someone they trust, and who will deliver a bespoke, cost-effective, appropriate and transparent investment strategy that delivers efficient risk-adjusted net returns per their risk appetite. Pascoe explains that Goldman’s wealth management practice handles assets of over $70 billion across 2,200 client relationships in EMEA. ‘There’s about 90 of me, so we average about 25 clients,’ he adds.
‘That is necessary because we only deal with the very tip of the wealth management pyramid – a small number of typically complex clients. There is simply nothing retail about what we do.’
So far, 2020 has ‘showcased the need for institutional-quality private client portfolio advice and management’, Pascoe notes. There has been a ‘sharp focus’ on, and control of, overall risk to protect this bear market, and a strong emphasis on portfolio rebalancing in March 2020 to ensure portfolios rebuilt equity exposure near the market lows: ‘Our strong client communication with top quality investment content helps mantain client confidence and allows clients to maintain risk budgets and so recover, while also capitalising on the opportunity-rich environment,’ he adds.
Private banker, London, United Kingdom
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