Issue 10 2021

32 CEO MONTHLY / ISSUE 10 2021 , Jul21848 ‘#SucceedingTogether’ Founded some twenty years ago, 7IM (Seven Investment Management) has always sought to be the kind of investment management firm that people enjoy working with. Dean Proctor, who joined 7IM in 2019 and has this year won CEO of the Year, 2021 - the United Kingdom, tells us more about the company’s evolution driven by the collective spirit of 7IMand its clients. At its inception, 7IM was comprised of seven individuals who sought to escape the corporate world and create an organisation that they themselves would like to invest in. The founders set out a structured and disciplined approach to taking care of clients’ money, with the aim of achieving steady returns over the long term, always with an eye on risk, using the best and most innovative technology available and in a highly transparent manner. In doing so, 7IM strove to give everyone access to the sort of service and expertise that institutional investors would typically expect. Today, with Caledonia Investments plc as its major shareholder, 7IM serves a large majority of the approximately 26,000 independent financial advisers that operate across the UK, providing them with the services and solutions that they require to construct and manage the investment portfolios of their clients. These solutions can be broken down into four key areas of expertise; the first is 7IM’s proprietary platform. The firm has full ownership, meaning no dependency on a third- party supplier to prioritise development, which gives 7IM total control of its investment in enhancing functionality and user experience. Through this platform, and 7IM apps, both advisers and clients are able access their portfolios to view and manage their investments at their convenience. The second is 7IM’s role as an investment manager in its own right. Offering a wide range in multi-asset class funds and models, 7IM enables its clients to access its investment products both on its own platform and third party platforms. 7IM has significantly expanded its investment offering in the last 18 months with the launch of a highly competitive passive fund and model range, 7IM Pathbuilder and the 7IM Passive Model Portfolios. It has also recently built upon its stellar 14-year track record of running a Sustainable Balanced fund with the launch of a Responsible Choice ESG model portfolio range as part of its wider Culture & Sustainability Program. The third area of 7IM’s offering is its discretionary investment management service, through which its team can act as the investment manager in partnership with a financial adviser in meeting clients’ investment objectives. And fourth and final is the private client arm of 7IM, which utilises the roster of 7IM solutions to look after those clients across the full wealth management agenda. Last year, the firm acquired Partners Wealth Management in the City of London, an independent financial advisory firm providing services to an affluent, HNW client base who are now also able to benefit from the extensive offering of 7IM and its products. The tremendous growth of 7IM over the last two decades has required serious developments as a firm. Much of this development was accelerated in April 2019, when CEO Dean Proctor arrived with a vision to modernise and upgrade the culture and capabilities of the business. “When I arrived in 2019, it was a brand that had punched above its weight, led by the founders,” begins Dean. “But we all felt, as a new team coming in alongside experienced colleagues, that we needed to take a look at where we were going, what we wanted to achieve and how we would come together as a team and business.” Dean, who spent his formative years at Lloyds Bank before entering leadership and CEO roles in companies like Citibank, Arbuthnot and Barclays as early as his late 30s, led a comprehensive internal audit of 7IM with the help of every individual at the company, asking questions of themselves and their clients and deciding collectively what they wanted to be. The team embraced the mantra, ‘succeeding together’, and consequently put together a vision, purpose, values and personality that would drive forward the next phase of the 7IM journey. “It’s given us all a sense of direction” Dean concludes. “It’s galvanized us and brought us together as a team that at its core is client and service orientated, and is determined to support its customers and clients through effective and long- lasting partnership. For us this is encapsulated in our overarching vison of Unrivalled Experience be that with clients, partners or each other.” Indeed, Covid-19, which has overshadowed the majority of Dean’s time at 7IM so far, saw the company making several adjustments to ensure its operations continued running smoothly. While it was of course essential to keep a close eye on markets and portfolios during this time, Dean was also committed to ensuring resources were properly utilised to maintain the collaborative spirit of 7IM, even during periods of remote working. After all, for Dean, his team is central to achieving our shared ambition. “It’s not really what I do, it’s what 500 people do that really counts. We have rightly balanced the key areas of strategy and culture making much progress during a challenging period and we are very optimistic about the next period with a clear plan and focus” he states. “Our slogan is succeeding together and we firmly believe in that.” As such, as he looks ahead to a future of continued growth for 7IM, Dean takes great pride in the changes his team have made and are looking to introduce. In doing so, 7IM will continue to strengthen and evolve as an organisation committed to serving its clients to the very best of its ability. “You never stop learning, do you?” says Dean and indeed, having recently acquired, in partnership with Abstract, the LPI Gold Award for External Learning Solution of the Year 2021 in addition to Dean’s award for CEO of the Year, 2021 - the United Kingdom, the road ahead certainly looks very bright for 7IM. Contact: Henry Chan Company: 7IM Web Address: