‘Open’ sign finally goes up at new wealth management operation

Glyn Edwards, left, and Paul Edwards

Wealth management specialist Raymond James is preparing to open its Liverpool office – four months after originally planning to open the doors to customers.

When Paul Edwards and Glyn Edwards founded the Water Street branch of Raymond James in March it was the culmination of many months of planning, but neither of them expected what was to happen next.

The pair had been looking forward to welcoming clients to the Grade I-listed Oriel Chambers building since deciding that the well-known local landmark would be the base of their new wealth management offering – but just as they were about to swing open their doors, lockdown landed, and they had to swiftly change tack.

Four months of video calls, digital onboarding, and PPE planning later, and the branch is finally opening its doors to the people of Liverpool.

From this week, clients, and anyone in need of tailored investment advice, will be able to visit the locally managed Raymond James office to discuss their financial futures.

Ahead of the opening, co-branch principal Paul Edwards said: “Starting a new business is a huge undertaking at the best of times, but launching one under lockdown is definitely not for the faint of heart.

“In many ways, as a nimble speedboat, we’ve had an easier time turning around in the Mersey than some of the super tankers up the road, but it’s still taken a huge investment of time and trust to bring customers onboard digitally.

“Wealth management is such a personal business, especially here at Raymond James, that I was worried we just wouldn’t be able to make it work through a screen, but the world has changed, and we’ve been able to adapt to this new way of working incredibly quickly.

“I’m still being asked to recommend local plasterers and landscape gardeners, so there’s no doubt that the personal connection is still alive and well.”

Branch co-principal, Glyn Edwards, said: “It’s been amazing to see how quickly people have adapted to the new way of working.

“Even our technophobic clients that tell me they love that we can still do things the old fashioned way, using paper and face-to-face meetings, have been happy to use Zoom after so many family get togethers online, but I know they will be happy to hear that the branch is finally open and we can talk in person.

“The streets of Liverpool’s financial district are still on the quiet side, but life is returning to Water Street, and we’re thrilled to be opening the doors of this incredible building to those that want to visit.

“I also hope the renewed activity will help local traders that rely on footfall for their livelihood.”

Built in 1864, and famed for being the world’s first building to feature a metal framed glass curtain wall, Oriel Chambers is believed to have inspired the design of America’s first skyscrapers.

Oriel Chambers

Set between Liverpool Town Hall and the Royal Liver Building, it has long been regarded as one of Liverpool’s most iconic buildings.

The branch opening is a further feather in the cap for Liverpool’s burgeoning financial services industry. The city is now second only to London in terms of funds under management.

Paul and Glyn will be offering bespoke discretionary and advisory investment management services tailored to fit each client’s individual requirements and financial objectives.

With more than 30 years of experience in Liverpool’s financial industry between them, the pair, who recently left Redmayne Bentley, have an in-depth understanding of the intricacies involved in managing and advising private individuals, trusts, pensions, and charities.

It has since emerged that Leeds-based Redmayne Bentley has closed its Liverpool operation, based in the Cotton Exchange in the heart of the business district.

It will now service its Merseyside clients from Manchester.

The firm closed its Southport office two years ago and merged it with the Liverpool team.