12th Nov 2021 by Josh Matthews, HBA

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021: MASECO’s Journey

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This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), a campaign to celebrate and empower entrepreneurs in every country and community worldwide. MASECO was founded back in 2008 by entrepreneurs and Managing Partners Joshua Matthews and James Sellon when they identified an opportunity in wealth management due to a change in the non-domicile rules. In recognition of GEW, we thought we’d look back at their entrepreneurial journey, which led to the birth of MASECO.
 


This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), a campaign to celebrate and empower entrepreneurs in every country and community worldwide. MASECO was founded back in 2008 by entrepreneurs and Managing Partners Joshua Matthews and James Sellon when they identified an opportunity in wealth management due to a change in the non-domicile rules. In recognition of GEW, we thought we’d look back at their entrepreneurial journey, which led to the birth of MASECO.

Josh started his career in the private client group at Smith Barney in NYC (which later became Citigroup) and transferred to London in 2001. In London, he met James and based on his expertise and having the USD Smith Barney platform at his disposal, he started working with US ex-pats in London. James joined Josh a year or two later and they formed the US ex-pat team at Citi Smith Barney. Due to significant Non-Dom tax law changes in 2008, Josh and James needed to offer their clients a more tax efficient solution and as result, co-founded MASECO in 2008. At that time, they realised that the large majority of the 250,000 American citizens living in the UK were required to pay taxes in both the UK and the US, resulting in potentially higher taxes, frustration and additional financial complexity. Cross border financial planning and tax-efficient discretionary investment management were called for, so they stepped out (of Citi) and set up MASECO Private Wealth.

With their ever-present entrepreneurial disposition, Josh, and James co-founded MASECO Switzerland in 2009 (which has since been renamed Pilotage Private Wealth), MASECO Asset Management in 2015 and MASECO Asia in 2016 (with Mark and Ashley Scher).

Three office moves, some wonderful awards, and a couple of international expansions later, MASECO has grown significantly, growing its assets to over $2.7bn and increasing its headcount to over 80. Josh comments, “while we are immensely proud of our history, we always strive for a better future. We are always looking for ways to grow and develop while continuing to use our business as a force for a positive change in the world.”

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact, GEW 2021 is also a call to action for all societies to be resilient and to come together to leverage the power of new ideas and innovation.

They say that innovation is unlocked during times of crisis - the last 18 months have illustrated how ingenious people are and how surprisingly adaptable. Given MASECO’s relative maturity, the pandemic has led the business to innovations that frankly might never have occurred otherwise. James comments, “I am convinced that we will take the best bits from the crisis and create a better-quality working environment for our team while delivering a more engaging client experience and higher-quality client outcomes.”

We have all lived through a period of enormous transformation where, without businesses demonstrating resilience and adaptability, it would be impossible for them to have survived the recent storm. The last 18 months have presented MASECO with several challenges and like most organisations, MASECO’s journey to success hasn’t been without struggles, and this isn’t the first difficulty we have encountered. From the global financial crisis to a worldwide pandemic, we have consistently demonstrated resilience and our ability to resolve problems, with all the lessons learnt shaping us into the business we are today.

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