How many companies do you know that have managed to weather the financial services industry over the last 30 years and continue to grow? Not an easy task, I hear you say – but there is one company who has had representation in Portugal, and in particular the Algarve, over the last 18 years – that is doing just that.
On January 16, 1986, Blacktower Financial Management Limited was created by John Westwood, now Group MD, and colleagues of his.
“Starting our careers in London with Schroder Financial Management gave all four of the founding directors of Blacktower a great background and insight into the industry, as it was back in the early 80s and we had all enjoyed the success of representing such a great brand as Schroders,” John told us.
This year they celebrate the 30th anniversary and 2016 represents a good time for its clients, past and present, to take a look at how the firm has evolved from the relatively small IFA firm to the pan-European and international wealth management company it is today.
This boutique wealth management business now provides expat clients across Europe with bespoke wealth management services from offices in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Malta, Gibraltar, Germany, Grand Cayman, the Canary Islands, Norway, the Netherlands and, of course, the United Kingdom.
John continued: “Gibraltar head office was launched in 2003 when the Financial Services Commission granted us a local licence for the international company. The idea was to introduce UK-style financial planning into the international market, concentrating only on the expat HNW pension and estate planning markets and really not working too hard – spending much more time on the golf course and sailing.”
Blacktower clients benefit from UK-style financial planning in the international market, particularly with regard to expat HNW pensions, and QROPS and QNUPS transfers. Clients also have the assurance that comes with MIFID and IMD licences, backed by a strong board of directors committed to further growth and innovation as a leading international wealth management adviser.
“I think that the last five years or so have been significant in terms of the company’s growth.
“Back in 2010, we discussed the idea of setting up an International IFA Network and, subsequently, Nexus Global was born. In the early days, we deliberately held back on expanding this business, preferring to gain a better understanding of how we should provide this service and, of course, working together with our regulators who were unfamiliar with this concept within the international market. Today, after a great deal of work by the BFMI Board, we are preparing to expand Nexus Global even further and on a more global basis.”
So, after a 30-year ride, Blacktower is still here and going from strength to strength, aiming to become one of the most recognised and professionally respected international wealth management advisers in the market place today. “The Blacktower Group’s directors and I have this ambition firmly in place for the future,” he added.
The journey to becoming this successful is not just down to those within the Group. The success goes hand in hand with the numerous clients that have entrusted their financial planning and wealth management needs to Blacktower.
John concluded: “Lastly, but by no means least, a huge thank you to our numerous clients who continue to support us and value the services we provide. Thank you for allowing us to work with you.”
Choosing an appropriate financial adviser is an important task especially in this ever-changing world. With the raft of choice available in the market today, it is important to find an adviser with a good reputation, market knowledge and, if possible, history!
By Robert Mancera
Robert Mancera is GM/Director at Blacktower Financial Management (International) Ltd with offices in Quinta do Lago 289 355 685 and Cascais 214 648 220. [email protected]
Blacktower Financial Management (International) Ltd is licensed by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission Licence 00805B
Blacktower Financial Management Ltd is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.