Founded over twenty years ago, 7IM 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 7IM and its clients.
At its inception, Seven Investment Management (7IM) was comprised of seven individuals who sought to escape the world of corporate finance and create an organisation that they themselves would like to invest in. Operating from a basement, the founders set out a structured and disciplined approach to taking care of its clients’ money, with the aim of achieving steady returns over the long term, always with an eye on risk and using the best and most innovative technology available. In doing so, 7IM strove to give everyone access to the sort of service and expertise that institutional investors would expect.
Today, 7IM serves a large majority of the excess of 25,000 independent financial advisory firms that exist across the UK, providing them with the solutions and services they require to construct and manage the investment portfolios of their own clients.
These solutions can be broken down into four key areas of expertise; the first is 7IM’s proprietary platform that is solely owned and developed by the firm to give it total control of its advancement and capabilities. Through this platform, both advisers and their end clients are able to utilise the apps and access their portfolios to view and manage their investments.
The second is 7IM’s function as a fund manager in its own right. Offering a wide range in multi-asset class funds and models, 7IM enables its clients to access its products both on its own platform and that of third-parties’. In this way, users are able to manage their income and investments effectively and efficiently in one location.
The third area of 7IM’s offering is its discretionary services business, in which its team can act as the investment manager in a case that sees advisers working with their clients with a third-party investment manager. And fourth and final is the private client branch of 7IM, which utilises the roster of 7IM solutions to look after those clients. Last year, the firm acquired Partners Wealth Management in the City of London, an independent financial advisor 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 enhance the operations of the business. “When I arrived in 2019, it was a brand was frankly punching above its weight, largely thanks to the founders,” begins Dean. “But we all felt, as a as a new team coming in, 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 group of colleagues.”
Dean, who spent his formative years at Lloyd Banks before entering leadership and CEO roles in companies like Citibank and Barclays as early as his late 30s, led an intensive 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, a purpose and set of values that would drive forwards the new era of 7IM.
“It’s given people direction,” Dean concludes. “It’s galvanized them and brought together as a team that fundamentally is determined to support its customers in the best possible way.”
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 his success as a CEO. “It’s not really what I do, it’s what 500 people do that really counts,” he states. “Our slogan is succeeding together and I firmly believe in that.”
As such, as he looks ahead to a future of continued growth for 7IM, Dean takes great pride in the products he and his team are looking to launch now and in the years ahead. In doing so, 7IM will continue to strengthen and evolve as an organisation committed to serving its customers to the best of its ability.
“You never stop learning, do you?” says Dean and indeed, having recently acquired 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.
For further information, please visit www.7im.co.uk