IN this week's column, Brewin Dolphin’s most recent senior appointment Chris Black reveals why he believes the firm has an advantage over others in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Mr Black, who holds a degree in economics from Northumbria University, has spent the last ten years advising high net worth clients at HSBC on wealth management, retirement planning, inheritance tax and trust planning.

He joined Brewin Dolphin in July, and works in the financial planning team as a divisional director at its Newcastle office.

He said: "There is a lot of competition in the market for firms managing people’s money, but if you look more closely then the benefits of a dedicated wealth management firm are pretty clear to see and that’s why - having watched the growth of Brewin Dolphin over recent years - I jumped at the chance to join the team.

“One of the main draws to Brewin Dolphin was the prospect of providing genuinely bespoke personal service and financial solutions suited exactly to a client’s needs.”

Banks that offer wealth management services have experienced a spate of recent departures at the very senior level and, significantly, throughout the North in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester.

Major banks have undergone strategic changes to the business, which include their wealth and investment management services ceasing to exist as a standalone division, and instead being rolled into UK corporate and retail banking.

With wealth management increasingly becoming an ‘add-on’ to the core banking business, clients who have a real need to protect and grow their money, are often looking to a specialist that can provide the highest quality service and greater stability.

Mr Black is convinced that Brewin Dolphin’s long heritage, combined with in-house research and forward-thinking development, is the ideal blend for success.

He said: “In simple terms, if you were looking for a dentist and an electrician, you’d want an expert in each – and would be a more than a little concerned if they were the same person.

"To be truly expert, you need to have developed, and focused on, that specialism.

“Brewin Dolphin doesn’t offer current accounts, we don’t offer credit cards.

"What we do is cost-effective, bespoke wealth management.

"A further advantage over others is that there are no potential conflicts of interest.

"We do not have our own funds or products, meaning we can make unbiased recommendations of other funds and products based on our research.

“We steer clear of one-size-fits-all models.

"We know our clients are all different, and reflect that in our portfolio service.

"Our highly personalised wealth management approach offers huge advantages over off the shelf offerings.”

Mr Black is the latest in a number of new hires at the team in the Newcastle office.

William Baker Baker, head of office in Newcastle, said its strong workforce will hold the business in good stead.

Mr Baker Baker added: “Chris is a great acquisition and underlines our aim to recruit the highest calibre of staff to service our clients.

"As we help more and more people with their investment management needs, we have become increasingly convinced that financial planning advice must be core to the way in which we structure their investments.

“Chris has a great deal of experience in complex wealth planning matters, which will be really valuable as we look to provide a robust and well-rounded view of all our clients’ financial affairs.”

With more than £2bn of money being managed in the North-East alone, Brewin Dolphin’s award-winning personalised wealth management services meet the varied needs of more than 4,000 clients, including individuals, charities and pension funds.

Chris Black is a divisional director in the financial planning team at wealth management firm Brewin Dolphin's Newcastle office.

No director, representative or employee of Brewin Dolphin accepts liability for any direct or consequential loss arising from the use of this document or its contents. Any tax allowances or thresholds mentioned are based on personal circumstances and current legislation, which is subject to change. The information contained in the text is believed to be reliable and accurate, but without further investigation cannot be warranted as to accuracy or completeness. The value of investments can fall and you may get back less than you invested. The information is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment advice.