Our history and approach
For more than 40 years, A J Buckley has been operating as an independent, privately-owned business, delivering specialist investment advice to private investors and trustees in the UK and internationally. From the outset, we have put a commitment to personal service, integrity and reliability at the heart of our business. During this time, the UK’s financial services industry has evolved, creating a well-regulated environment in which we are able to advise clients in a professional and ethical manner. Our reputation has been built on providing sound advice and a reliable, personal service to our clients. We continue to tailor specific investment portfolios to individuals’ and trustees’ needs, which is of particular value in today’s fast-moving economic climate.
While holding traditional values, we are also constantly looking at ways to become more efficient and innovative. Many of our ‘founder’ clients are still with us, simply because they value this straightforward, honest approach. Plus, we offer investment services from the entire market. This independent status means that we are not tied to any product providers, and therefore are free to give truly impartial advice.
Our team is led by our Chief Investment Officer, Paul Willans, who has a wealth of experience in investment management and private client practice, having also held partnership and senior management positions in accountancy and legal 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.
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. For this reason, we don’t receive commission, but charge fees for our services. Any commissions received are fully rebated to clients. 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: