What a year 2020 turned out to be. No-one could possibly have suspected what it had in store for us when I wrote my end-of-year message back in December 2019.
Two years have now passed since our management buyout, and as a company we continue to confound the increasingly stringent regulatory framework – as well as challenges such as Covid and Brexit – by continuing to grow and develop.
I initially struggled to understand how Investment Quorum could possibly fall into the “key worker” category – we are not exactly risking our lives on the front lines. In actual fact, though, it is increasingly clear to me that the services with which we provide our clients are essential. Financial security is vital, and we have played a key role throughout the pandemic in helping our clients, supporting them through tough challenges and keeping them calm during periods of uncertainty.
Throughout 2020, global stock markets experienced levels of volatility the likes of which have not been seen since 2008. Having hit an all-time high in February, they came crashing down to an all-time low in March. Our task has been to tune out the background noise and focus on allaying our clients’ fears by keeping them informed with regular updates. Our investment team – headed up by Peter Lowman – has been relentlessly focused on analysing the financial consequences of the pandemic and building up a picture of the risks that it might pose to our clients. They quickly identified which stocks were set to suffer, as well as what we needed to do in order to take advantage of the various opportunities created by Covid. The result is that in the main, performance throughout the year has been extremely good.
Over the last several months, we have done our level best to be there for clients who have lost loved ones, and for those who have been alone during the lockdowns. It is this level of personal care, so ably shown by our own Paul Goodrich and his team, that I believe is what makes people recommend Investment Quorum.
I am proud that the company has decided to support a number of smaller charities that have been severely impacted by the pandemic and whose mission is to help the most vulnerable members of society. We have done this by distributing our profits and by organising a number of fundraising initiatives. It has been heartening to witness the younger members of our team rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in various challenges and campaigns during this turbulent period.
Somehow, despite the pandemic, we enjoyed an extremely successful year. For this, we thank our clients, our professional connections and everybody who has recommended us to their friends, families and colleagues: we humbly acknowledge the trust they have placed in us. We fully realise that this trust is earned and is something that should never be taken for granted. Without your support, we would never have achieved such success over the past two years.
We’ve grown our assets from £250 million to £325 million in under two years. At the same time, we have taken on eight new people, taking our total staff to 20. We currently have five graduates working in financial planning, investment analysis and technology. This pool of young talent plays a key role in driving us inexorably forward. With Nick Rolf heading up our wealth management team (which will be five-strong in 2021), and Lisa Ryall taking on more responsibilities as our Head of Operations (managing a world-class client services team), never have we been in a better position to take on new clients.
We are well aware that 2020 was an extremely challenging year for some. And as we begin a new year, we remember and pay tribute to all of you – particularly those of you who have been IQ clients for a long time. We all look forward to a safer world – one in which we all hope that the recently announced medical advances will enable us to return to something resembling normality.