Our history and approach
For more than 30 years, A J Buckley Asset Management has operated as an independent, privately-owned business, delivering specialist investment advice to private investors and trustees in the UK and internationally. As a professional, fee-based practice, personal service, integrity and objectivity is at the heart of our business. In recent times, the UK’s financial services industry has evolved into a profession, creating a well-regulated environment in which we are able to advise and support our clients in a professional, technical and ethical manner.
While holding traditional values, we are also constantly looking at ways to become more efficient and innovative. As an 'independent' firm, we are not tied to a single company's, or limited number of company's, products or services and, therefore we have unfettered access to potentially suitable investment products in the UK and international market.
Since December 2013, our team has been led by our Managing Director, Paul Willans, who has a wealth of experience in investment management and private client practice. He is a Chartered Wealth Manager and Certified Financial Planner, and has a post-graduate level qualification in private client investment management. Prior to joining the firm, he held partnership and senior management positions in accountancy, legal and financial firms. He is ably supported by a dedicated team who have been with the company for many years and have built up solid relationships with our clients.
Our investment specialists conduct regular overseas visits, to ensure that we stay in touch with our clients, and we always warmly welcome clients to our Surrey-based offices, which are less than an hour from central London by train .
Putting our clients’ needs and objectives first has always been at the heart of what we do at A J Buckley. In order to help you understand exactly what this means, we have devised a Client Charter to clearly express our approach to investment management and client service:
- We always act in the best interests of our clients
- Our advice and recommendations will always be objective and technically accurate; designed to give our clients value for money and peace of mind
- We will never make a recommendation we haven’t thoroughly researched
- We are truly independent and impartial – this objectivity comes at a price, but it’s a fair and reasonable price
- We will always provide written confirmation of our proposed instructions, fees, timescale and terms of business prior to commencing work – clients never receive unexpected bills. This is part of our commitment to treating clients fairly
- Our income will never conflict with a client’s interests and, for this reason, we charge fees for our services. This way, our income is not dependent on selling products that offer commission, clients do not cross-subside each other, and we can demonstrate the objectivity of our advice and recommendations
- Any fund discounts received are fully rebated, in order to reduce client charges
- We always return phone calls, and aim to fulfil instructions within agreed timescales
- We are committed to effective use of technology, in order to increase our efficiency and reduce clients’ costs
Our investment philosophy is based on the following tenets:
- Unless specifically instructed, we will never put all our clients’ eggs in one basket – whether a single company’s funds, or a single investment area. We invest in all major asset classes (shares, cash, fixed-interest, property, alternative investments, etc), thus diversifying investment risk.
- Over most timescales, the majority of fund managers under-perform their benchmark. This is fact, not opinion, and reflects the reality that many funds only perform well in certain economic conditions. The chart below illustrates how, in the five years to December 2010, only 31% of fund managers managed to beat their benchmarks. Put it another way, 69% of fund managers underperformed and did not justify their internal charges. In order to optimise returns cost effectively, the core elements of our portfolios focus on achieving strategic exposure to markets in a highly accurate, yet low-cost manner, using index-tracking funds. The satellite elements of our portfolios focus on tactical opportunities, using funds that have a high probability of achieving out-performance or specific objectives while also covering their higher charges.
Our portfolio construction and review process
- We are always acutely aware of investment risk, and our approach is designed to ensure that our recommendations are always appropriate for our clients’ agreed capacity to bear capital loss, as well as their expectation for capital gain. If a client’s expectations are unrealistic, then we will tell them and help construct a suitable balance of risk and reward.
- We have a specific approach to working with our clients to ensure that the most appropriate portfolio strategy is implemented. However, once established, investment portfolios need on-going reviews in order to remain effective, and we monitor and manage portfolios in the following way: