Dolfin started as a custody and execution service platform in 2013 for the financial services market, and has added wealth management operation to create a hybrid business which it believes with help boost financial advice service.
Nick McCall, who was appointed head of wealth management in September, spoke to International Adviser to discuss the business model of the firm and areas it wants to tackle as a wealth manager.
Stable revenue business
McCall said: “One of the interesting elements is the hybrid model that Dolfin is built on. Having the custody model and the investment management in-house is a more stable revenue business with the wealth management arm.
“It gives a nice balance of using the platform as a leverage to boost the wealth management offering that some firms currently don’t have.
“Most wealth managers in the city are moaning about the cost and burden of regulation on their business models. The way our model and technology works, is that compliance sits solidly in the middle of the machine.
“That regulatory burden is still there but it has been digitised to a large extent. It has made the whole process more efficient and cost-effective. You are popping that relationship manager back to where he needs to be. You are not replacing him, you are giving him a tool which eases a regulatory burden.”
It is starting to create a “three pillars” operation with the custody platform, investment management and wealth management as the structures.
Within its wealth management arm, it already has around 60 private advisers globally and manages around $1.7bn (£1.34bn, €1.49bn) in client assets overall as a firm.
The firm said it has a good chunk of clients in Eastern and Southern Europe, and it has also built up a China team.
McCall added: “We are starting to focus on building out the second part of the business, which is already a pretty established wealth management operation, and that will go away from the friends and family structure which came with the origins of the firm.
“I am looking to build a team outside of the UK, and you have to have the ability for offshore if that’s what our clients will want.
“Latin America is another market we want to go into. There is a nice thing about the region – they used to look to the US for their wealth management needs but now with the Trump presidency it is not looked at so fondly.
“We will continue to build in China. The Middle East is not currently somewhere we have coverage, but we want to expand into and lastly the Africa continent, with a mixture of Eastern Africa (Tanzania and Kenya) and Western Africa.”
The firm is licenced in the UK with the Financial Conduct Authority and in Malta with the Malta Financial Services Authority.