Ashley Brooks

30th June, 2023

Blog, DB News

A life well lived…

We can only plan for a life well lived, at least that ought to be the desired outcome. As we all know, the path of life will include successes, failures, mistakes, reflection, growth, challenges, and opportunity. None of us are immune. The perspective applied to our past experience’s doubtless shapes the route ahead.

As we approach the halfway point of the calendar year, we look back on our recent journey and take stock for how the future is shaping up. This is alike for business as it is for individuals as we should always operate in transition. Our objective at DB Wood is to deliver positive change and better outcomes in areas we can influence. Like all journeys, sometimes things take longer than expected, sometimes there are quick wins, and sometimes there are issues that we didn’t expect that broadside us. Life is what happens whilst your busy making other plans as Mr Lennon referred. I’m sure we can all relate to that.

At DB Wood our team have increased in size to 35 over the last 12 months. We acquired MLI Advice in June of last year and brought outside investment into our business to help us grow further not long after that. Across the last 12 months we have developed discussions to acquire three more businesses which will take our client funds under management from £700 million today, to around £1bn by 2025, with our head count rising further to around 45.

There are various motivations to strategically growing the business. Our priority remains to provide a first-class financial planning service to help clients deliver their objectives as effectively as possible. To do this we need a team of talented and committed people. With effective recruitment and training, sensible planning, and good long term investment management, we can attract more clients and more funds to our portfolios. As we attract more funds from clients, we can continue to drive down client costs. This in term helps the growth of our portfolios and helps deliver our clients objectives. This is our circle of life – if you will.

Over the past 5 years our client average fee has reduced by 15%. Our growth plans work in tandem with driving down client costs, and as such we are looking to reduce clients’ costs by a further 5% over the next 12 to 18 months as our plans develop.

Our recruitment process continues to be directed towards supporting the business over the next decade and beyond. We have 40% of our team aged between 19 and 35 years old. We have a deliberate blend of age and experience which helps to harness and direct the enthusiasm and desire for knowledge which is very evident across our younger team who follow their own bespoke development plan.

So, despite investment markets remaining challenging, we continue to reinvest in our business, to innovate and to take opportunities where we see them. We have recently launched our Money Market Portfolio given the increase in bank base rates, which allows clients to access high cash returns without tying capital up for lengthy periods. That said, despite the continued volatility in markets, our forward outlook from our portfolios is more positive than it has been for several years.

So overall, we have come a long way in the last 12 months. The infrastructure of the business remains supportive of continued growth, the portfolios well positioned for when inflation does start to trend downwards more consistently, and our plan to drive down costs should see further success down the line as we continue to help deliver a life well lived.