Paul Edwards and Glyn Edwards left well-known Northern practice Redmayne Bentley to establish the Liverpool branch of London-based Raymond James in Liverpool city centre. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool’s newest wealth management operation has opened its doors to clients after its initial launch was delayed by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Paul Edwards and Glyn Edwards left well-known Northern practice Redmayne Bentley to establish the Liverpool branch of London-based Raymond James at the Grade I-listed Oriel Chambers in Water Street.
The pair, who have more than 30 years experience in Liverpool’s financial sector between them, were all set to open their doors in March when the lockdown was announced, and they swiftly had to change tack.
Four months of video calls, digital onboarding, and PPE planning later, and the branch is finally opening its doors. Paul Edwards, co-branch principal, 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 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.”
The branch opening is the latest addition to Liverpool’s growing financial services sector. The city is already home to a thriving wealth management cluster and is now second only to London in terms of funds under management.
Branch co-principal Glyn Edwards added: “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. Set between Liverpool Town Hall and the Royal Liver Building, it has long been regarded one of Liverpool’s most iconic buildings.