December 7 2013 Latest news:
Ben Woods, Business writer
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Stockbrokers Walker Crips has set its sights on grasping new customers in the “under served” market towns across Norfolk and Suffolk as its looks to grow its business in the east.
Stuart Fairhurst, investment manager at the Norwich office, said the firm wanted to bring more clients on board in areas such as north Norfolk, where there is a large amount of wealthy second-home owners.
And he has not ruled out moving to bigger premises by merging its city office with its Wymondham operation if there is a high demand for its services.
It comes as Mr Fairhurst, who moved to Walker Crips when Fyshe Horton Finney went into administration in March, issued an invitation for investment managers to approach the Norwich business as they look to take on more staff.
He said: “As things move forward, we may join together the two offices and get a bigger premises. And if there are more investment managers that are looking for a move and would like to join us, then we would like to listen. But the Wymondham office is excellent because a lot of Norfolk’s market towns are under served, and people still like to see us face-to-face rather than using a call centre.
“There are people now who are moving up from London to north Norfolk, which may feel adrift from their London broker and we want to get them on board.
“But it is still a difficult market to get these customers because sometimes the regional-based businesses are deemed inferior to the London-based firms. But we are a London-based business with a regional presence.”
However, Mr Fairhurst said it is important that its customers understand what they are achieving before they start to invest money with the company.
He added: “It makes no sense for someone with £20,000 in the bank to come to us and want to make an investment because it is not viable. Still, you have to start somewhere, so we will always listen to people that want help.
“But you have to understand why you are investing and what are your goals: is it money for retirement, or a rainy day? And make sure you understand what you are putting your money into.”
Walker Crips sold its corporate advice arm Keith, Bayley, Rogers & Co to BMV Investments at the end of last year for £345,000.
In April 2011, it sold its asset management division to Liontrust.
The firm, which employs about 142 people across the UK and recently recorded a turnover of £20.3m, specialises in investment management, including stockbroking and fund management.
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis has hailed the town’s growing significance as an energy hub after the arrival of a new offshore business bringing the promise of 100 jobs over the next three years.