It was all change at the 2021 PAM Awards as five firms achieved top honours for the first time.
And with one firm – Barclays Private Bank – winning two of the 13 Awards competed for, this meant that the honours board had a very different look from previous years.
In addition to Barclays Private Bank (Investment Performance - Cautious and Defensive Awards), Arvella (Innovation), Cerno Capital (Investment Performance - High Growth), Deutsche Bank Wealth Management (Positive Impact), and Lincoln Private Investment Office (Emerging Manager) also won for the first time.
Nonetheless, the 2021 PAM Honours Board still contained a good selection of former Award winners.
Sarasin & Partners, who have won more PAM Awards than any other firm since the event’s inception, burnished its distinguished record by winning the Client Service Quality HNW Award.
Citi Private Bank, another firm with an excellent PAM track record that extends over many years, headed the field in the Total Wealth Solutions Provider - UHNW category.
Aberdeen Standard Capital (Best Sustainable Wealth Solution), Capital Generation Partners (Client Service Quality - UHNW, Close Brothers Asset Management (Digital Wealth Proposition), James Hambro & Partners (Total Wealth Planning HNW) and Veritas Investment Management (Investment Performance - Growth) all enhanced more recently established PAM performance records.
The list of finalists, or short-listed firms, contained a blend of veteran entrants and firms with a much shorter PAM history. It also exhibited considerable diversity in terms of size and longevity.
The current incarnation of Albert E Sharp, Arcrate, Arvella, EQ Investors, Netwealth Investments, Tyndall Investment Management and Tribe Impact Capital are all relatively small and newly established firms.
But they showed that they could more than hold their own with much larger peers, especially in the investment performance Award categories.
Of the larger entrants EFG International and Mirabaud featured in the list of finalists for the first time joining other firms such as Lombard Odier and Sarasin.
“Once again the PAM Awards have illustrated the diverse nature of the wealth management sector in the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man,” said James Anderson, the chairman of the PAM Judging Panel.
“A lack of size or longevity is no impediment to the achievement of excellence and successful client outcomes despite all the problems created by Covid-19 and government responses to it.
“I would like to congratulate all the Award winners and finalists for their achievements along with all the other firms that took the time and efforts required to enter the latest iteration of PAM Awards Programme.
“Now in its third decade this undoubtedly makes it the longest running and most prestigious Awards Programme that focuses on the wealth management sector.”
Investment performance awards
The 2021 PAM Awards was a breakthrough year for Barclays Private Bank, the non-ringfenced arm of Barclays wealth management.
Big banks have rarely featured in the investment performance categories and Barclays, despite being one of largest wealth managers active in the UK, has never featured on the PAM Honours Board.
All this changed in 2021, however. Not only did Barclays Private win the Cautious and Defensive Award categories it also performed strongly in both the Growth and High Growth categories.
In another year Barclays, might have won all four investment performance categories which would have been an unprecedented happening.
However, this would have involved outperforming Veritas Investment Management in the Growth Performance Award, a category which the firm established by Stuart Newton and Anthony Rosenfelder has made its own in recent years. So it proved to be again in 2021.
Cerno, a small London-based investment office, made another breakthrough by winning the High Growth Award category ahead of Stonehage Fleming, which has featured strongly in this category over a number of years.
Barclays was not the only firm to feature strongly in the investment performance categories, however.
Julius Baer International made the finalists’ list in three categories (Cautious, Defensive and Growth).
Not for the first time much smaller firms, some of whom are also relatively new, also featured strongly in the investment performance categories.
Arcrate, a small London-based firm that operates under the Raymond James umbrella, made the finalists’ list in the Defensive, Growth and High Growth Categories.
A number of former emerging firms, such as Albert E Sharp, Netwealth Investments, Tribe Impact Capital and Tyndall Investment Management also featured prominently.
No single firm dominated the nine qualitative Award categories.
London-based Lincoln Private Investment Office, a firm established by three former Barclays and Berenberg employees, won the Emerging Manager Award at the third time of asking, beating off the challenges of Tyndall Investment Management, another previous finalist and Arvella, which entered the category for the first time.
Arvella Investments, a London and Paris-based wealth management firm established by Bruno de Kegel and Benoit Mercereau, two former Goldman Sachs managing directors, won the Innovation Award.
Its entry highlighted its proprietary climate warming metric and three-dimensional optimisation process. The former enables it to calculate the alignment of any client portfolio relative to the Paris climate goals, the latter helps clients find the optimal trade-off between risk, return and alignment to climate goals.
Arvella beat-off a number of very strong entries, not least from Lombard Odier, whose entry shared many similarities with Arvella’s.
The other finalists consisted of Citi Private Bank, Nedbank Private Wealth, Kleinwort Hambros and HSBC Private Bank.
“It’s good to see that so many firms are now incorporating the ingenuity of the fintech sector to come with innovative ways of improving the client experience,” said Mr Anderson. “Long may it continue.”
Both Aberdeen Standard Capital, the discretionary management arm of the firm now known as Abrdn plc, and Lombard Odier have impressed in the Sustainable Investment Solution since its establishment and did so again in 2021.
This year Aberdeen Standard came out on top narrowly followed by both Lombard Odier and Sarasin, and EQ Investors, another of the growing number of wealth management firms that focus on sustainability.
EQ Investors also featured as a finalist along with Insignis Asset Management, a previous winner, in the Digital Wealth Proposition.
Close Brothers Asset Management won this Award by demonstrating the continuous improvements they have made to their offering since inception a number of years ago along with a much-increased take-up by clients.
Deutsche Bank Wealth Management won its first PAM Award by beating the field in the Positive Impact Award category, followed by Citi Private Bank and Aberdeen Standard Capital.
The remaining four qualitative Awards had a more familiar look, especially in terms of winners.
Sarasin & Partners, a serial winner since the PAM Awards inception, won the heavily contested Client Service Quality - HNW Award for the second year in succession beating off competition from Waverton Investment Management and Charles Stanley, a first-time finalist. Berenberg Bank received a special commendation for its efforts in this category.
Capital Generation Partners won the Client Service Quality UHNW Award, for the second year in succession, ahead of Citi Private Bank, a perpetual rival, Sarasin & Partners and Mirabaud, the latter featuring as a PAM Awards finalist for the first time.
The situation was reversed, however, in the Total Wealth Solutions Provider - UHNW where Citi Private Bank came out on top with Stonehage Fleming and HSBC Private Banking joining Capital Generation Partners as finalists.
In the Total Wealth Planning - HNW Award James Hambro & Partners again impressed in what is fast becoming a keystone of the wealth management service offer by winning this category for the second year in succession.
EFG Private Bank, another first-time finalist, Close Brothers Asset Management and Nedbank Private Wealth completed the shortlist.
The Awards were presented at a virtual ceremony, complete with dinner and wines on the evening of 9 June.