Relationships are dependent upon trust, and thus we must do everything we can to engender trust, and to avoid the inadvertent erosion of trust. We know from experience that no two clients will ever be quite the same, and that people’s objectives and priorities are different, and change over time. We treat every client as an individual.
Thus the foundations of GBIM’s organisation have two elements.
The first element is constructed of our core principle of ensuring that we avoid having possible conflicts of interest with clients. By having no external shareholders, no in-house products and by never charging or receiving commissions, we can ensure that any investment decision we make on behalf of our clients is for their benefit rather than anyone else’s.
The second element is based upon the understanding that in GBIM the most important employees are those who look after clients – not people in head office with grand titles!
Therefore the structure and operations of the company need to reflect the intention for these people to be really engaged with their clients. It is only with such a sense of commitment that they can or will serve their clients well.
At the core of our ethos is the recognition that people perform to a higher standard when given responsibility. We believe that the more we take responsibility for our own and each other’s actions, the more likely it is that collectively we will do the best for our clients. We know how much experienced investment managers dislike having to obey central diktat, and thus we enable our team to participate in all decisions relating to investments and services for clients. Their engagement is essential when we are asking them to take responsibility.
Experience tells us that investment managers like to have a high level of independence over the management of a client’s affairs, and thus allowing them to participate in decisions affecting investments and services bolsters their sense of engagement. Equally unilateral action by investment managers on behalf of their clients can become both a risk to the client and to the reputation of the business so we ensure that every manager’s portfolios and investment decisions are subject to peer review and internal scrutiny.
We believe that being shareholders of the firm strengthens anyone’s sense of personal and mutual responsibility, and thus it is our intention that as many members of the firm as possible will be shareholders. Furthermore the existing shareholders intend that our younger colleagues will in time become larger shareholders, and eventually take over the management of the firm. We hope that this will ensure the longevity of our key principles.