View more on these topics

HUGH WARD

Following Amvescap&#39s £1.05bn purchase of Perpetual two weeks ago, things are suddenly a lot more interesting for Invesco UK chief executive Hugh Ward.

Amvescap also owns Invesco and the purchase of Perpetual is likely to end up with the two fund managers being merged. The combined firm would be the second-biggest retail fund manager in the UK, behind Fidelity.

For the time being, the two fund managers will operate side by side until at least the end of this year. But this situation could continue for another calendar year, during which steps will be taken towards increased integration.

Ward says: “It is a huge step forward. The UK has the second-biggest retail fund management marketplace in the world. We want to be a major player within it. This move gives us the opportunity to do so.”

He says the biggest challenge facing him follows directly from the integration of two big and successful fund managers. This is to position the new company as a major player in the UK retail fund management industry and not get derailed by details along the way.

Invesco UK is one of the five operating sectors within Invesco Global. That in turn is owned by giant US-based investment house Amvescap. In 1996, when Ward became chief executive, the company was the 28th-biggest in the UK sector. Today, it is the 12th-biggest.

In five years, Ward would like to see Invesco UK grow to £100bn in funds under management compared with £25bn today.

Brand awareness is very important to Ward and he would be reluctant to scrap the Perpetual name because of the strong recognition it has in the UK. “We are in no rush to do anything with a name as strong as Perpetual&#39s. It is far too early to even think about that. Any decision we will make will be driven by common sense.”

Similarly, he wants to grow the Invesco name so it is popular both within the UK and internationally. He believes he is well on the way to doing so and says he is helped in that by having behind him the support of the other Invesco sections and the size of Amvescap.

“Brand name is increasingly important. We operate in a market that is steadily moving towards greater globalisation. I want to be able to pick up the phone, call anywhere in the world, say I represent Invesco and be respected.”

Invesco Global accounts for 20 per cent of parent company Amvescap&#39s assets and Ward wants to increase this.

Today, Invesco does between 80 and 85 per cent of its business through IFAs and is committed to the relationship it has developed with them.

“In 1996, we were trying to do everything in every market. I decided the channel had to be more focused so we have committed ourselves to the intermediary channel.”

Ward is eager to cultivate relationships with banks and insurance companies. He thinks they will turn increasingly to outside sources to supply products and wants Invesco to be well placed to take advantage of that.

With all his ambitions for his company, Ward works long hours, alternating between Invesco&#39s London base and now Perpetual&#39s Henley headquarters and operation in Jersey, where he owns a house.

He wants to move Invesco outside London eventually but says there are no definite plans yet.

One of the regrets Ward has about his busy lifestyle is that he does not get to spend enough time with his three-and-a-half year old son. He says he usually gets to see him twice a week.

But Ward says he is too driven by business to think about slowing down. He is motivated by three factors – creating an enormously successful company, attracting talented and ambitious people and listening to what they have to say about the development of the company.

At 48, he likes his toys as well. He has a couple of luxury cars, a Harley Davidson and a boat, which help him relax at weekends. “I like anything that is exciting and powerful.”

Ward originally joined Britannia Investment Management Services, which was subsequently rebranded as Inv-esco and taken over by Amvescap. He left for a period and worked for Capital House International Investment Management and Barclays Private Bank but then returned to Invesco in 1996.

He completed his consolidation of power only three months ago when he took over the institutional side of Invesco, giving him control over all Invesco UK&#39s operations.

While other fund managers pride themselves on having one or two star fund managers, Ward says he is much more interested in building up a strong team rather than individual egos. He is proud of the people he has under him but puts the development of the group before individuals.

He believes this is one reason why the overlap between Invesco and Perpetual will not be as extreme as it might have been otherwise. He says it is quite plausible the two companies will operate in the same sector in some situations.

However the union progresses, Ward views it a fantastic challenge and is eager to get started. “Everybody within both companies is saying what a fantastic opportunity this is. Perpetual and Invesco have enormous distribution capability around the world. I cannot wait to get started on what lies ahead.”

Recommended

A murder is announced

The rules for carry-forward/carryback are as convoluted as the plot of an Agatha Christie novel. However, all this will be changed by the sim-ple expedient of abolishing the lot.The end of the 2000/01 tax year marks the arrival of stakeholder pensions and the new defined-contribution regime. There will be a number of changes to the […]

B&W splits from sister firm to join with Deloitte

Leading UK actuarial and insurance consultancy Bacon & Woodrow is to split from sister business the Employee Benefits Consultancy to merge with Deloitte & Touche.Partners of Bacon & Woodrow Insurance Practice will follow formal procedure and resign to form the merged company and become partners in the new merged firm.B&W&#39s business, the Employee Benefits Consultancy, […]

INDEPENDENT VIEW

Theoretically, by the time you read this, we should have some idea as to whether our industry is going to be reshaped. Will the current regime be frozen or is there going to be meltdown?By Hallowe&#39en, a day for tricks or treats (and, co-incidentally, my birthday – I&#39m 29!) – the FSA is due to […]

Commonwealth BoA to launch in Britain

Australia&#39s largest financial services firm, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, is to launch in Britain at the end of November. Under the brand name NewWorld it will sell flexible mortgage products over the telephone, through the internet and eventually through mortgage brokers. Commonwealth Bank is setting its standard variable rate at 6.99 per cent with borrowers […]

Why prevention is better than cure

Quoting the famous adage, prevention is better than cure; there are many proactive benefits that can improve wellness in the workplace, decrease stress, increase staff morale and reduce absenteeism, as well as attracting and retaining employees of a higher standard. With a recent study showing that employees in Britain are working below peak productivity, preventative benefits can ensure you address potential health issues or causes of stress at their source and ensure productivity in the workplace remains at an optimum level. With this in mind, how are you using preventative benefits to help keep your workforce happy and healthy?

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment