Shaw and Partners is in the relationship business and as its Perth office celebartes two years, this respected Australian wealth and investment advisory firm is well-placed to continue growing its clients' wealth for years to come.
Agility, ability and adaptability – these three words could be a fine definition of Shaw and Partners, one of Australia’s pre-eminent wealth management businesses which continues to build on its formidable story of growth and experience.
Growing from a modest base in Sydney and Melbourne, and led by Co-CEOs Earl Evans and Allan Zion, Shaw and Partners grew organically through a number of leading stockbrokers, wealth advisers and financial planners joining the company, primarily on the east coast.
The national business boosted its footprint considerably two years ago when it acquired advisory and planning firm, DJ Carmichael in 2019. Discussions led by Davide Bosio, the organisation’s WA State Manager and Director, Corporate Finance, and Earl Evans targeted this respected business with over 125 years of broking history, leading to its complete rebranding to Shaw and Partners.
“This acquisition represented the last piece of the national expansion puzzle, and ensured that the business had a significant presence in every major city in Australia,” said Mr Bosio.
“We saw the national business embrace our local love affair with the resources sector, evidenced by the growing list of corporate clients and transactions that we have played a significant role in over the last few years.
“Coupled with that, our local advisers have also been able to take advantage of the many finance and banking, industrial and technology deals that originate through our east coast teams – it’s the ideal win/win outcome,” said Mr Bosio.
“By securing this important foothold in Western Australia, Shaw and Partners has been able to accelerate its presence, broaden its reach and allow more clients to access its investment capabilities and intellectual capital. It has been an important strategic decision too to align Shaw and Partners with the WA community.”
“Through annual events such as the ocean paddling classic event – The Doctor, part of the Shaw and Partners WA Race Week – which attracts significant national exposure while celebrating the surf life-saving community and our West Australian coast, we are able to support local activities and raise our profile,” said Mr Bosio.
“We have also made a huge impact over the last two years by giving to local charitable groups through the Shaw and Partners Foundation, a philanthropic endeavour that all Shaw staff members and advisers willingly make, in the form of monetary donations or by volunteering their time.”
The Foundation was established in 2015and from its earliest days, was created to provide a platform for greater participation in community service. Recipients of donated funds include Starlight Kids Foundation, Telethon Institutefor Kids, The Heart Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Association.
“We strive to contribute to causes and communities that matter to our local team,” said Mr Bosio. “We do this in an authentic manner that has seen us build a significant presence among the community and our clients in a relatively short period of time.”
With a national presence and over $26billion of assets under advice, Shaw and Partners nevertheless has been able to preserve the intimacy of a boutique investment firm with the heft of the resources and scale of a major financial group, EFG International. Whether advising large corporate bodies, charitable organisations or high net worth individuals, the approach by Shaw and Partners remains the same: client-focused and with the aim of growing their financial assets.
“We believe in providing our expert advisers with the best resources to manage their clients and the highest level of advice and service in the wealth management industry,” said Mr Bosio.
“Our clients receive our global and local in-house research expertise and we have a trusted record of performance, particularly in a number of our separately managed accounts (SMAs), which are professionally overseen by our investment team.”
Perhaps thanks to its early days as an organisation run by individual experts, Shaw and Partners has retained a strong spirit of entrepreneurialism. A focus on forging long-term relationships has underpinned this drive too, an echo of DJ Carmichael’s special place in the history of the WA arm of Shaw and Partners.
“Advisers are encouraged to build their own unique advice and service offering, with a strong compliance regime within the support structure of a national business,” said Mr Bosio.
“We continue to invest heavily in our advisers and their clients to ensure that this spirit is nurtured and our working environment is a progressive and empowering one.”
As the COVID pandemic continues to cause ripples across the entire world with knock-on effects which could not have been anticipated just a few years ago, Shaw and Partners has nevertheless survived and thrived, offering a calm hand on the tiller for their clients’ funds and investments.
“Investors have certainly taken advantage of the strength in capital markets through this period,” said Mr Bosio. “Our business has managed to continue to grow and prosper; however with a significant majority of our national team affected by lock downs, we are conscious of the impact on our teams’ well-being and steps have been taken across the country to manage this, to the best of our ability.
“Fortunately our business continues to operate with little disruption to our clients who now, more than ever, require our expert advice.”
That expert advice comes with something extra, something a little more intangible; a personal relationship between client and adviser which is carefully nurtured and cared for through a determination to offer the very best access to world- class wealth management and investment services.
“The relationship between our advisers and their clients is paramount to the success of our business,” said Mr Bosio. “Our clients have best-in- class reporting and technology platforms, access to our in-house research team, Separately Managed Accounts (SMA), investment solutions, priority access to corporate investment opportunities such as placements and IPOs with a backing from our largest shareholder, EFG International.”
With such a community-minded ethos at the heart of Shaw and Partners through their work with the organisation’s Foundation and other charitable initiatives, an important arm of their activities revolves around advising charities.
“When the focus of retaining wealth for the greater good is the aim, trust forms a significant part of all interactions,” said Mr Bosio.
“Delivering on your word is key. We are in the advice business and fundamental to this is trust. Our brand has grown and will continue to grow within our national local community as we work with people each and every day to build long-term relationship.
“We have invested heavily in our people with the knowledge that our advisers share our passion and build relationships over the long term. By cultivating this approach, we believe our clients will be partners for life.”
The financial services industry is a choppy one to navigate successfully, and Mr Bosio believes that we are currently witnessing a period of incredible regulatory change.“As a result of this, many advisers are either leaving the industry or looking for partners like Shaw who can provide the support to overcome through these challenges, but also to grow as we re-emerge from this period.
“I have learned that change, no matter how hard, creates real opportunities and I believe that our business is in a particularly strong position to grow and better serve our clients into the future.”
With a focus very much on the horizon, Shaw and Partners continues to grow their client list through a variety of methods, but referrals from existing clients is by far their most valuable source of new names to add to their stable.
“Our best source of growth and a measure of our success is the quality of referrals and new business that is driven by our existing clients,” said Mr Bosio. “We enjoy hosting a series of client-focused events on a regular bases, including boardroom lunches with key speakers, client sundowners discussing investment themes, twilight sailing get-togethers and even a client basketball clinic for kids.”
As one of the key members of the team who stayed on to establish Shaw and Partners in WA after the acquisition of DJ Carmichael, Mr Bosio is well-placed to comment on the organisation’s evolution and forward-looking strategies. With a passion for early stage companies, he has also played a key role in many resource opportunities with particular success in the gold sector and juniors with strong potential – like De Grey Mining Ltd and Spectrum Metals.
“I am incredibly proud of the business we have built in this short period and am truly excited about what the next few years looks like,” he said. “We have already attracted some experienced advisers to join our growing team and our clients have been able to share in our growth story.”
“I have a unique perspective of reminiscing on where we were as an old, well-known WA brand, often fighting for survival and comparing this to where we are now, a significant part of a truly national business having built a thriving environment for our advisers to grow their businesses and better serve their clients. It’s something I am proud of, and grateful for.”