Meyado Committed to vibrant, forward-looking Birmingham
At first glance you might believe that all the financial services business in the UK is based in London but, whilst London remains one of the world’s big players, Birmingham is rapidly recreating itself to deserve the title of the UK’s “second city”. From its industrial heyday in the Victorian era and its subsequent decline when much manufacturing moved abroad, Birmingham these days is a confident and forward-looking place.
The Financial Times devoted an in-depth report to the new Birmingham in September 2015 where they focused on the improved rail links, the amount of investment flowing in from abroad, the number of large financial services companies establishing offices in the area and the growth in creative industries – all of which are encouraging the local population to keep their skills in the city and talented and qualified individuals from other areas to move in. The recent arrival of the High Speed Two (HS2) HQ in the city, employing a 1000 staff, is more proof of a ‘super-charged’ Birmingham.
The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce is seeing the evidence of this in the growth in positions for higher-skilled, more highly paid senior staff. Some of these staff will have been recruited via the good links forged between local enterprise and local universities but also some will have been recruited EU-wide or even further afield.
To find out more about how Meyado intends to be part of this growing, confident city with the opening of their second office, we spoke to Senior Head of Midlands Business, Birmingham native and father-of-four, Robert Magee. Robert has over 30 years experience in providing top-quality financial advice and he and his team have worked together for many years streamlining their systems to work efficiently for the needs of their clients.
Question: It’s clear that there is an increased confidence in Birmingham, how do you see this reflected in your clients’ plans for the future of their businesses?
Robert Magee: As a Brummie, I accept that I am biased, but I am really very proud of Birmingham and the way that its leaders have seized the opportunities to develop and grow the city over recent times. We all know of Birmingham’s proud heritage and what it meant to the manufacturing history of Britain, but today we see a very different Birmingham; a highly contemporary, vibrant and cosmopolitan city, with a state of the art business environment.
My work brings me into direct contact with business leaders and top executives and I see their confidence in the City reflected in the way they have chosen Birmingham to be their operational base and all the inward investment that brings. You only need to look at two of the flagship buildings in the City, No 1 and No 2 Snow Hill, to see businesses such as KPMG and Barclays occupying all of No 1 and a multitude of smaller businesses basing themselves within No. 2.
So yes, Birmingham is fully open for, and is doing business all over the world and Meyado Private Wealth is definitely committed to being part of the future growth of this great City.
Question: Are you seeing more European executives using Birmingham as the UK base for their global career? And what kind of financial advice do they particularly require?
Robert Magee: Meyado provides advice to senior executives all around the world. Indeed here in Birmingham we see our fair share of international business people looking for financial advice. Recently I met up with a British Management Consultant who is working on contract out in Dubai and wanted to know how to reposition his pension fund and investments to maximise investment opportunity, minimise costs and make them as tax efficient as possible. We are expecting a lot more European executives to seeking similar advice over the coming months.
Question: We are probably all aware of the tax breaks available via ISAs and pension schemes but are you giving more specialised advice to clients with more complicated needs?
Robert Magee: Yes, people with capital to invest usually invest for capital growth, or income, or a combination of both. However, most remain blissfully unaware of the opportunities to invest in financial products that automatically produce tax savings and these can be income tax, capital gains tax and, increasingly more popular, inheritance tax. I have worked with tax mitigation for many years and simply utilise non-contentious, revenue-approved arrangements, for the benefit of my clients.
For example if someone were to invest say £100,000 into certain investment products they can produce an immediate tax credit of £30,000. Whilst they need to be able to set aside their funds for at least 3-5 years; they remain in full control of all of their money; any investment growth is tax free; and in some cases produces tax free dividend income which can be incredibly valuable to top earners.
Question: How do you think the growth in bigger businesses can help create an environment where smaller start-ups can thrive?
Robert Magee: As stated above – you only need to look at two of the flagship buildings in the City, No 1 and No 2 Snow Hill, to see businesses such as KPMG and Barclays occupying all of No 1 and a multitude of smaller businesses basing themselves within No. 2. The local catering businesses and retail outlets have certainly benefitted from the bigger firms locating in town. One worthy example would be The Barber House at 102 Colmore Row which is a great draw for executives looking to polish up their act with everything from haircut, shave and yes a shoe-shine!
Question: How does Meyado’s approach create real difference for your clients?
Robert Magee: In my 30+ years in the business the fundamentals have remained the same – you need to create trust through great service. However, traditional financial advice was often limited by the number of funds an advisor could research. At Meyado we have embraced cutting-edge technology so that each client has access to the entire market and we can therefore offer solutions based on the best match to their needs and risk profile from every fund that’s out there. In a global marketplace that offers real difference.
To ensure our clients receive the best ongoing service a Meyado adviser can be reached at any time via phone, tablet or pc which means that our clients can work to a timetable that suits them and their busy lives.
It is clear from Robert’s responses to the questions that we posed, Meyado Private Wealth aims to be an integral part of Birmingham’s financial future. HS2 is on its way, many successful tech start-ups are choosing to base themselves around the north of England, and further money was outlined in last week’s Budget to improve the transport infrastructure for the North of England – it is no wonder that Birmingham’s motto, shown all over the city on its coat-of-arms, is “Forward”!