Case Study: Investment Management Platform

Colin Wickens

Dragon Investment Managers

Colin Wickens

  • Dragon Investment Managers started working with Raymond James in 2016.
  • They use single company shares and collectives to build portfolios for private clients.
  • Their core area of operation is North Wales.
  • Dragon utilises the Raymond James Investment Management Platform.
  • Colin Wickens, Investment Director, provides insight into their working relationship with Raymond James.

Why we chose the Raymond James Investment Management Platform

Raymond James gave us the tools we need to manage client assets without binding us to a specific advice model or compliance system, because we are a directly authorised firm. We do not know of an alternative for a firm of our size without giving up our identity. Being provided with a relationship manager as a main point of contact within the company also sounded like a key advantage for the transition period and beyond.

Getting Started

From the offset, Raymond James were thoroughly professional and highly organised enabling them to meet our needs as their customers. We were concerned about a slow start to the accumulation of funds under management due to covenants applied by former employers, but Raymond James did not start charging us until clients started signing up which was very helpful and appreciated. As we are not using any other platform provider, the positive start we had with Raymond James was vitally important to our working relationship.

What we get from our partnership with Raymond James

The links to a relationship manager and the structure of support from the other teams in the business is very helpful and has surpassed our expectations. We were also very impressed by the initial help with IT and procedural arrangements including the client portal. The professional client literature is also a bonus; valuations, quarterly bulletins, market commentary and the budget newsletter being amongst the most valuable assets for us. The design and  delivery of documents has always been fantastic.

When we have met clients occasionally in London, we have been afforded fantastic facilities at Raymond James’ Head Office; this level of support has been highly beneficial in terms of providing the best experience for our clients.

A key asset for us has been the opportunity to attend events with our peers where we can network and learn from each others’ experiences. The Raymond James Professional Development Forum has been an important part of our networking. In the first year of working with Raymond James one of our founders, Stephen Jones, attended and was impressed with the event and picked up some excellent ideas – the ‘Preferrals’ workshop being a highlight – and has been working with the corporate finance team who were introduced at that event. 

The following year we sent two delegates, and Stephen has attended the Raymond James Professional Development Forum every year since joining Raymond James. This event brings us up to speed with industry best practice, current issues, compliance, IT and service offerings as well as the
positioning of respected fund managers all in a two-day gathering.

In Summary

Our funds under management approached £60 million in less than two years. We have three long term targets:

1. £100m by our own development as things stand;
2. £250m possibly with some local acquisitions;
3. £1bn possibly after teaming up with another firm.

We want to be the first choice for discretionary fund management for Wales. We are very pleased with the correlation between our expectations on funds under management and income and the projections we made before starting. We put a lot of work into the business plan and that has really paid dividends, as we knew exactly where we wanted to be and what the desired environment was. We have had a positive working relationship with Raymond James. If we knew then what we know now we would have had made the decision four years earlier!