Sep 19, 2019 | EWAN ROSIE

Cruise ships & Cufflinks

Over the past week St James Place (SJP), one of the UK’s biggest wealth management firms, have had the inner workings of their business and culture laid bare. A former team member turned anonymous whistle blower reports in The Sunday Times about what life is like as an SJP adviser, how their team are incentivised and how clients foot the bill for their diamond encrusted cuff links.

Points for pounds

Many of the stories in the series of articles are concerning. From placing their employees on a credit system enabling them to earn points for every pound of new business they win, to arranging chartered flights and luxury cruise liners to reward them for those wins.

The list goes on, but here we wanted to home in on one point in particular. A quote from The Times article:

“If someone wanted advice about withdrawing their funds, I would make it as difficult as possible to arrange a meeting. The longer I could delay a withdrawal, the more money SJP and I made in fees.”

This fee-based culture is something we are going to explore on a much deeper level in our forthcoming report about fees and the impact they can have on your investment portfolio. If you would like to understand a little bit more about the importance of keeping costs low you can read about it in our guiding principle series here.

Put your money where your mouth is

But the other outstanding sentiment from this quote is SJP’s lack of interest in helping their clients get the most from life by enabling them to access and spend their money.

At Cooper Parry Wealth we believe you should ‘Make Life Count’. We encourage our clients to do just that and it’s no different for our team members. Whether it’s a house move, a dream holiday, helping out a loved one or spending your days ticking things off your bucket list – we don’t tell you what making life count means to you but we’ll definitely help to make it a reality where possible.

In some cases this will involve taking money out of your portfolio and putting it where your mouth is! A massive part of our process is to talk about the things you want to achieve. We continue to discuss this throughout the relationship to understand how we can provide reassurance and support.

Crack open the bubbly

We certainly won’t avoid meeting with you to discuss using your own money to realise your own dreams – in fact we’ll celebrate it!

If you’re working with us already let this be a reminder to make life count.

If not, ask yourself what you really want your money to enable you to do, ask yourself if the advice you’re getting is serving your needs and get writing that bucket list – if cruises and diamond cuff links take your fancy make sure it becomes your reality and not that of your adviser!

If you have any questions or concerns about fees, accessing your money or getting your portfolio set up in a way that suits you, get in touch.

This communication is for general information only and is not intended to be individual advice. You are recommended to seek competent professional advice before taking any action.

This communication is for general information only and is not intended to be individual advice. It represents our understanding of law and HM Revenue & Customs practice as at 14 August 19. You are recommended to seek competent professional advice before taking any action. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you originally invested. Past performance is not a guide to the future. The investments described are not suitable for everyone. This content is not personalised investment advice, and Cooper Parry Wealth can take no responsibility for investment decisions you may make as a result of this information. Tax and estate planning advice are not regulated by the FCA.


Send an email to us at