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Richmond, Surrey: an unlikely wealth and investment management hub
16/04/2018 , Ian Orton

Richmond, Surrey is unlikely to be the first name that would come to mind as an international investment and wealth management centre.

Nonetheless, the town has attracted a number of wealth and investment management firms three of which, Absolute Return Partners, Blu Family Office and Quartet Capital management, all inhabit the same building and are linked in one way or another.

Founded in 2002 by Niels Jensen, a former head of Lehman Brothers’ European wealth management operations, Absolute Return Partners (ARP) is the oldest of the three firms that currently occupy 16 Water Lane, Richmond.

ARP, which offers advisory and investment management services for institutional investors, as well as managing a Malta-domiciled SICAV, appears to be the nucleus of a small network that encapsulates other firms.

This includes both Blu Family Office and Quartet Capital Partners.

Established in 2010, initially as a single family office by Christian Armbruester, Dominik Von Eynern and Henk Kras, now offers investment advisory, investment management and wealth planning services to a wider client base.

Its principals have extensive investment management experience.

Mr Armbruester, Blu Family Office’s chief investment officer, is a former proprietary trader at Bankers Trust and Credit Suisse; Mr Von Eynern, a fifth generation member of a family business, who focuses on family advisory has worked at both Merrill Lynch and Nomura before establishing; and Mr Kras, who has worked with Mr Armbruester since 2009, has thirteen years of investment management experience.

A “strategic partner” of ARP, Blu Family Office have also shared personnel, not least in the form of Nick Rees, its new chief executive. Mr Rees, a former ARP partner, who has also worked at Goldman Sachs, started working with Blu Family Office in 2015, before assuming his current position as a partner and chief executive earlier in April.

Mr Jensen is also head of investments at Quartet Capital Partners, the firm established by Colin McInnes, a former investment manager at Berry Asset Management, in 2009 to provide private client investment management services.

ARP also has another strategic partner in the form of Copenhagen-based Kinnerton Credit Management.

Originally named Halkin ARP Capital and established as a partnership between ARP and Jens Bisgard-Frantzer to focus on the investment opportunities that arose from the 2008-2009 financial crisis Kinnerton currently has around EUR 325 million of funds under management in three Dublin-listed investment vehicles.

Not all ARP’s initiatives have prospered, however. Vinculum, a long only equity venture, established by ARP and Nigel Legge, the founding chief executive of Liontrust Asset Management in 2011 failed to generate traction.

Other Richmond-based firms that offer private client discretionary management services include PK Wealth, the wealth management arm of PK Group, an accounting, tax and financial planning firm.

PK Wealth appears to have offered discretionary investment services since 2016 when Graham Frost and Michael Usher joined the firm.

Mr Frost, PK Wealth’s chief investment officer, is a former institutional investment manager who has also worked at BestInvest and Dexia-Ely Fund Managers.

Mr Usher spent 20 years at Brooks Macdonald as well as helping to establish discretionary investment management services at a number of other firms.              

PK Wealth offers bespoke discretionary investment management services for clients with at least £200,000 to invest and model portfolio services for clients with between £50,000 and £200,000.

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