Shane Smith joins the Hampshire Team

My entire working career until April of this year was in the corporate environment, when I decided to take the plunge and set up my own wealth management practice within an independent wealth management business – Hampshire Independent Advisors.

Whilst grappling with the idea of leaving the “supposed” safety of a corporate, I recall engaging with an independent financial advisor – who said to me – you know all corporates would meet the medical definition of a psychopath.

This statement took me a bit by surprise – The Collins Medical Dictionary of Medicine defines a psychopath as “a person whose behaviour suggests indifference to the rights and feelings of others”.

Lord Chancellor of England, Baron Thurlow in the 18th century said that corporates have “neither bodies to kick nor souls to damn”
Adam Smith – the father of modern economics – in his book Wealth of Nations written in the 18th century – warned against unrestrained, concentrated corporate power and instead encouraged small-scale, local economic activity.

I think we can all agree that corporations exist solely for the purpose of making money – that is the capitalist way. Fortunately, markets are competitive and consumers can vote with their money, by spending elsewhere should their needs not be met by a particular company.

In my field of wealth management, when I was considering leaving the corporate world behind – I was faced with the option of setting up my own financial services provider or joining an established business. What swayed my view towards joining an established business – in particular Hampshire Independent Advisors was the following:

  • Being surrounded by like-minded individuals – having worked with some of the current Hampshire advisors previously – there is an element of comfort to be surrounded by people you respect.
  • It is and would be lonely on your own – being part of a larger team – it is great to bounce ideas off others on how they would approach a certain situation – when you are on your own – you are on your own!
  • Being unconstrained – a customer I believe wants you as a wealth manager to position what you believe to be the best solution for his particular need. You are not driving any particular agenda – other than what you believe is best for your client.
  • Have a broader offering – Hampshire has access to specialists for medical aid and short-term insurance needs for corporates and individuals – again unconstrained specialists – not aligned to any one provider – allowing my clients total financial needs to be met
  • Focus on what I know – which is giving financial advice. I don’t want to be bothered if there is no paper for the photocopier or if I have paid the rent – this is all done for me – I can focus purely on my clients.

Now coming back to that comment from a colleague in the industry that corporate are psychopaths – I don’t think it is entirely true as in certain industries you need the huge benefits that come from economies of scale – for example car manufacturing or the pharmaceutical industry where the huge amount spent on research leads to better outcomes for us as people.

But in certain industries I do not believe that corporates are the answer. Within wealth management we are an advice driven business and particularly when dealing with high-net worth individuals advice needs to be personalised and tailored to their particular needs.

I also firmly believe that people want unconstrained advice not the agenda that a company may be pushing at a certain point in time.

Hampshire Independent Advisors is as the name says – Independent – we have no agendas other than giving good advice.

Shane Smith – CFA Wealth Manager

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