Wayne Green, joint managing director of the Marlborough Group, talks to Lauren Mason about why it is always important to have the end investor in mind.
The Marlborough Group, which has more than £11bn of assets under management, a history spanning more than 30 years, and six different investment management and administration companies to its name, is still driven by the needs and wants of the very end investor, according to joint managing director Wayne Green.
This mentality is arguably fitting with the fact the interview took place in Marlborough's Soho office - a smart, but modestly sized, townhouse with no real signage.
It was here that Green explained the firm's next big steps: to pull together all of the different arms of the business and to reinstate Marlborough as one large group, rather than a shared name among several different companies.
This, he says, is to avoid "one-dimensional conversations with wealth managers and advisers, when we can offer them far more help if we take a unified approach".
"Historically we have always focused on each individual business in the group, so the UK fund manager, the host authorised corporate directors (ACDs), or the wealth management business in Lichfield, for instance," he explains.
"But we feel now that, if we pull all those things together, we have a much better story to tell. We have much more to talk about with our target market."
The goal, says Green, is to ask each client how Marlborough Group can combine its services to help them personally, rather than to "list off" a range of services that they can opt to use.
"We have single-strategy funds that people are familiar with, we have multi-asset fund-of-funds, we have a managed portfolio service, we have a host ACD, we have links with platforms, but how can we pull all this together to have a better working relationship with people?
"This is the biggest thing we have going for us - the people. And not just our clients, but the way we ourselves work in the business. We are an entrepreneurial company and we have all worked together for so long, we all know each other very well.
"We know what each other is good at, and we all work closely as a team, but that is how we were founded and what the culture is like now. This is why we have all been there [at Marlborough Group] for so long."
Green joined the Marlborough Group in 1998, when it was a team of four and was purely the Marlborough Funds outfit.
Here, he was responsible for fund accounting, transfer agency roles and numerous administration tasks, which he says was "fortunate, because I do not think you can come into a business like this now and learn the different elements to the same extent."
As the firm expanded, Green progressed to head of marketing. Then, at the age of 25 (and in line with Marlborough Group's aforementioned entrepreneurial spirit), he left to set up his own chauffeuring business.
However, Green returned to the business just a year later after being re-approached by the team, which was looking for a new compliance officer.
"Having been in marketing, compliance always had this - 'you are trying to stop me doing things' - reputation for me, so I was a bit unsure," he says.
"But I liked the people, and so I thought I may as well try to make something of it."
From here, Marlborough amped up its controls and investment oversight, says Green, vehemently ensuring all funds adhered to Investment Association sector requirements, and as such received a "glowing" thematic review from the Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority) in 2012.