05th Apr 2023 by Kyle McClellan

Citywire Next Gen: Kyle McClellan

Interview

Last week, Kyle McClellan, Wealth Manager, caught up with Citywire as part of their ‘Next Gen’ campaign. He discussed the most significant moment in his career so far, his top three fund picks, and how he would use a time machine.
 


Last week Kyle McClellan, Wealth Manager, caught up with City as part of their ‘Next Gen’ campaign. He discusses the most significant moment in his career so far, his top three fund picks, and how he would use a time machine.

Role and responsibilities: Investment management and financial planning advice

Years in industry/years at firm: Seven

Top three fund picks:     

  • Dimensional Trust US Marketwide Value ETF
  • Avantis International Equity ETF
  • Avantis Emerging Market Equity ETF

Personal AUM: £53mn

What first attracted you to the world of wealth management?

On a personal level, I have seen first-hand how reckless investment decisions and inefficient financial planning can destroy a family’s wealth and have damaging implications for the next generation.  The opportunity to work with high-net-worth families to steward their wealth and prevent the adage of “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” was an attractive career path for me.

More broadly, I have always enjoyed working with people and helping solve complex problems. Having studied economics at university with a keen interest in the market and wider macroeconomy, working in wealth management perfectly combines my skills and interests.

Who is your investment hero or someone you admire in the industry?

I have always respected and paid a lot of attention to the perspectives of Howard Marks, the Co-Founder of Oaktree Capital Markets.  His insights on the global world order and the lessons we should learn for helping the clients to make investment decisions are timeless.

What is the biggest issue facing this generation of wealth managers?

With the advent of smartphones and social media, we have seen a sea change in how our clients digest information and make purchasing decisions.

Although technological advancements have improved our ability to deliver advice virtually, I believe that our industry will need to engage and service their clients through more channels (e.g., social media) to effectively meet the needs of the generation, who stand to inherit considerable wealth from the ‘baby boomers’.

What were your first, best and worst investment decisions?

My first investment decision was a little boring – I bought an S&P 500 tracker.

My best investment decision was purchasing a Long GBP Short USD 3x Leveraged ETP just after Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini budget in September 2022.  Timing the market is usually foolish but I couldn’t miss out on Sterling nearly hitting parity…

My worst investment decision was probably staying in cash while I was saving for a house.  I could have afforded one much sooner had I not taken the conventional route.

What advice would you give to young people interested in working in wealth management?

Find a firm whose values align with your own and one that has a clear development path – with respect to both academic and professional development – to help you build a career.  In my view, the first 10 years of your career are formative and can set you up for the remainder of your career if you join the right firm.

Although it may be challenging to find a niche market, identifying and committing to that area of advice can fast track your development and the demand for your expertise, which are likely to be scarce.  For instance, at MASECO, I specialise in advising high net worth and ultra-high net worth families with connections to the US – this narrow focus on servicing a specific clientele has, I believe, allowed me to add far more value than I would have had I serviced a domestic client base.

In what way does being of a younger generation help you in your role?

The most obvious advantage is being more familiar with the latest technological advancements and digital tools that are becoming crucial for delivering advice.

What is the biggest social issue surrounding the wealth management industry?

Although the industry has made considerable progress in tackling gender equality over the last decade, I still believe there are improvements we can make to attract, promote and retain more female talent.

It’s no secret that wealth management and the broader financial services sector is male dominant which, in my view, is an issue for any firm that wants to promote inclusiveness and advise a more diverse client base.

What has been the most significant moment of your career so far?

It would have to be helping our clients, both new and existing, navigate the daily pendulum swings of the markets during the pandemic, which presented an unprecedented challenge even for the most seasoned veterans in our industry.  We have seen countless economic cycles, corrections, and bursting of bubbles, but few prepared clients for the mania and panic that gripped the world.

Our investment philosophy of thinking rationally and long term, paying attention to price, and strategically rebalancing portfolios to capitalise on volatility allowed our clients to weather the storm.

What’s the perfect tea and biscuit combination?

Boring is sometimes best – I would have to go for an English Tea and Digestive.

You are marooned on a desert island: choose one book, one album and one practical item.

U2, ‘The Joshua Tree’ (also probably one of the longest albums ever made – great bang for your buck!)

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

A Wilson Volleyball – like Tom Hanks, I would need a friend to share the experience with and keep me sane.

You have a time machine: do you go to the future or the past? When and where?

While there are many periods in the past that I’d like to experience, my curiosity of how far human ingenuity can take us would force me to fast forward a few hundred years – I would love to know if we (or Elon…) ever manage to inhabit another planet.

You can live in any country in the world from tomorrow, but you can never leave that country: where?

It would have to be Italy. The cuisine, culture, history, and (most importantly) wine are difficult to beat.

Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party? And what would you cook?

Nelson Mandela, Ricky Gervais and Muhammad Ali. They would all be treated to my best attempt at a Beef Wellington.

You are granted one mild superpower: what do you choose? 

Teleportation. My tolerance for commuting has disappeared since the pandemic.

The Legal Stuff

Nothing in this document constitutes  investment, tax or any other type of advice and should not be construed as such.  The information contained herein is subject to copyright with all rights reserved.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of MASECO as a whole or any part thereof.  All investments involve risk and may lose value.  The value of your investment can go down depending upon market conditions and you may not get back the original amount invested.  Your capital is always at risk.  Any reference to specific products does not constitute a recommendation offer or solicitation to buy or sell such products.  Reference to ‘Personal AUM’ is to the value of client assets under the management or advice of the represented individual.

MASECO LLP (trading as MASECO Private Wealth and MASECO Institutional) is established as a limited liability partnership under the laws of England and Wales (Companies House No. OC337650) and has its registered office at Burleigh House, 357 Strand, London WC2R 0HS.  The individual partners are Mr J E Matthews, Mr J R D Sellon, Mr A Benson, Mr D R B Dorman, Mr H Q A Findlater, Mr T Flonaes, Mr E A Howison, Ms A L Solana and Mr N B Tissot. Calls may be recorded for your protection and for training purposes.

MASECO LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the conduct of investment business in the UK and is registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission as a Registered Investment Advisor.

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