Interview with Chris Birch, Chief Executive of Murdoch Asset Management
From one man’s vision to an award-winning company, we celebrate thirty years of Murdoch Asset Management. As Chief Executive and the longest serving member of staff, we interviewed Chris Birch to talk about what’s changed and what hasn’t.
Chris, you joined Murdoch in 1998. What was the company like back then?
It was still pretty small at the time. I joined as Investment Manager and I think I was the sixth member of staff. From memory, I believe we had about 200 clients and £30 million under our management. But Jim Murdoch, the founder of the business had a very clear vision of how Murdoch should build on its reputation as an investment specialist and so he hired people who could provide the skills required to grow the business.
What was that vision and how has it changed over the years?
We could see the need for clients who were getting close to retirement, to have access to specialist financial and investment advice so they could make plans knowing how much money they had to work with; and that’s still how it is today. Our business thrives on doing two things really well: providing worthwhile financial planning and growing our clients’ wealth.
The industry has changed enormously in 30 years, how has Murdoch kept pace?
We’re constantly on top of changes to tax and financial regulations and vigilant about market movements and investment trends. Ten years ago, there were few requests for ethical investing, but today our clients are very aware about where they want their money invested so we offer portfolios that reflect this. Plus, we’ve always listened to customer feedback to help us improve what we offer, such as developing our client portal by introducing historic valuations and the ability for customers to review their partner’s information without having to login separately.
You’ve been with Murdoch for over 20 years and other members of staff have worked for the company for ten years or more. What’s the secret to a happy workforce and how does this benefit clients?
We’re very aware that as a service-based business, we need to rely on every single member of the team to look after our clients properly. So, the ethos of ‘treat others how you would want to be treated’ starts with the senior team and applies equally to staff and clients. The staff that have been with us for many years continue this ethos and help new staff maintain the high standard of care for clients.