Dunston Hall

Ipswich Rd,Norwich

NR14 8PQ


The future isn’t what it used to be: how to invest in a rapidly changing world

A world of high-and-rising interest rates, double-digit inflation, elevated geopolitical tensions, and major structural changes makes for a very different investment climate to the past 15 years. In this session we will look to connect some of those geo-economic themes to tangible implications for portfolio positioning.


Building value in your business

Consolidation in the IFA market has been progressing at pace over the past few years, and with it an increasing demand for well-run, low-risk advice firms. Whilst acquirers grapple with increased interest rates and challenging returns, they are especially interested in DB transfers and understanding how firms are dealing with consumer duty. They also want to ensure that staff are well-incentivised and will come along on any succession planning journey. It's important to ensure your business is well prepared for this journey. Are you in the right position to pass it down to staff? Or to maximise sale price? How will any organic growth continue post-acquisition? And how can you ensure the client journey is not disrupted? Preparation is more important now than it has ever been; it takes time to ensure your business will make a success of succession planning. 

Learning Objectives By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

  • Understand the drivers and market dynamics of advice consolidation
  • Learn the key metrics acquirers use to identify target firms and return on investment
  • Assess whether these practices are good for the market and if your business is prepared


Lucy Grier, Benchmark

Lucy has extensive experience in the industry, having spent over 18 years providing professional financial advice, consultancy services and working with firms on sales and acquisitions. She fell into acquisitions almost by accident whilst working for an IFA firm and started a brokerage in 2012, working with large buyers in the UK. She considers it a privilege to work with individuals who trust her to guide them through the process of selling their business and ultimately retiring. During the course of her career, Lucy negotiated deals with Benchmark and found that they shared the same values – integrity, transparency and a customer-focussed approach. This eventually led to her joining the team in 2021 and she now embodies Benchmark’s entrepreneurial spirit and ‘can do’ attitude, working to bring high quality firms into the group.

James Ashley, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

James is a managing director in the Global Client Business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He leads the International Strategic Advisory Solutions team, which provides clients across EMEA and Asia Pacific with expertise on market trends, portfolio construction and innovative business practices. James joined Goldman Sachs in 2015 as an executive director and was named managing director in 2021. Prior to joining the firm, James worked at Royal Bank of Canada as chief European economist. He has more than 22 years of cumulative experience, working across buyside, sell-side and policy-making institutions. James earned a BA in Economics from Durham University in 1999 and an MSc from University College London in 2002.

Working lunch with Benchmark and GSAM - 24th May 2023

Venue: Norwich

Date: 24th May 2023

Time: 12:00 - 2:30pm