Anthony Scott’s professional life has been filled with “many adventures for many years,” he says, selling beer and cars in China, after leaving the military.
But he eventually decided to return to the UK, where he now finds himself trying to start a financial business at a time when consolidators are roaming the landscape and buyers are far outweighing sellers.
Scott is currently Director of Business Development at Raymond James in the UK, the US consulting firm with 100 offices and £ 13.7 billion in assets under management.
The company has announced plans to allow advisers to join as employees, but then, if they wish to leave, they can take their clients with them, as there would be no restrictive covenants in their contracts. job.
Scott claims the UK operation is “taking over” the head office in the US, which has offered such terms for many years, and which he says has not led to an influx of advisers and of customers leaving the company.
He says the new policy is not designed to be an aggressive step to achieve growth in a competitive market, and the company will continue to be “conservative” in its plans.
Extensive due diligence is performed on each company that wishes to join Raymond James under one of the four options available.
Scott says: “We had a business – we had been talking to him for six years about joining, but every time we approached a deal, the lines were pushed slightly. So in the end, I had to say no.
“It’s understandable that they were furious at the time they spent on it. But I met the guy years later and he shook my hand because then he understood why we said no.”
He says his previous role as head of investment management at Charles Stanley gave him some “red flags” to watch out for when auditing companies. Scott says the most obvious is “anything that deviates from traditional investments, so anything that looks like contracts for difference used in client portfolios would be a wake-up call to us.”
He says, “We want advisors to join us who care about their clients. People often say about investment management, “You wouldn’t understand it if you didn’t do the job,” but I did the job. ”
Scott joined Charles Stanley as a wealth manager for private clients and spent 17 years with the company, becoming head of investment management and a director of the board, before leaving in 2016.
He recognizes that business development requires very different skills than investment management, but says, “I left Charles Stanley because I wanted to do something different, to try something else. I enjoyed all the places I worked, but nowhere else the Raymond James culture.
The offices of his current company in the shadow of Liverpool Street station in London are a far cry from where he began his post-military career, working for Swire PacificGroup, importing first Volvo cars and then Carlsberg beer in China and surrounding countries in the 1990s, just as China opened up to Western markets.