Devon Life Business & Professional - Meets John Crowley at Hawksmoor Investment Management
PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 March 2012 | UPDATED: 22:00 04 October 2012
It â€˜s no coincidence that Hawksmoor Investment Management is named after a renowned 18th-century Baroque architect. It was a deliberate choice that reflects the company's ethos, says Chief Executive John Crowley
Building onStrong Foundations
It s no coincidence that Hawksmoor Investment Management is named after a renowned 18th-century Baroque architect. It was a deliberate choice that reflects the companys ethos, says Chief Executive John Crowley
Finding a name was the most difficult part of setting up the Company. I finally decided on Hawksmoor because Nicholas Hawksmoor, although rooted in the traditions of Baroque, was a visionary and a quietly innovative architect, qualities which we aspire to in our investment style. We believe in an old-fashioned common- sense approach, solid foundations, but with some flair where appropriate.Hawksmoor is a fund and investment management business with offices in Exeter and Ipswich. They manage money through three major routes: Discretionary Portfolio Management, the Vanburgh Fund and their Model Portfolio business. Most of the companys business comes from Solicitors and IFA introducers, both in the South West and further afield.John describes his career as a portfolio. He has been variously a ship broker, opera singer and stockbroker, but it was a law degree at Exeter University that brought him full circle, not only to the investment world where he started, but back to Dartmoor where his wife was born. He founded Hawksmoor in 2008 and has been in Devon for 18 years. In that time he has seen the city develop dramatically and is upbeat about its future.You can see the changes in a number of ways, in shops, restaurants and house prices. It may be a chicken- and-egg situation, but there have been several milestones, the Met Office first, then the Princesshay development and now, of course, John Lewis, a 350 million build at the University and the Exeter Science Park.But despite the potential in Devon, in the wider financial world the watchword seems to be caution, and for good reason.Having come through a terrible 2011, confidence has been dealt a heavy blow, producing some of the most difficult financial conditions since the 1930s. The markets may still have further to fall and investors are facing three major threats: the Chinese economy overheating, the American debt mountain, and uncertainty in Europe. Those who have money are looking for the safer options. Gilts are strong and although their yields are lower in the long term, in the current climate it is a case of stability over growth.It is our job to try and steer a way through these unusually challenging markets and do our best for our clients. They entrust us with their money whether it is a family trust or a pensioner whose savings are funding a nursing home. We are acutely aware that whatever money we are looking after belongs to somebody to whom it is important.Hawksmoor is committed to its place in Devon and the company is a firm supporter of Exeters flourishing cultural life. They are proud to have been the first company to sign up for the Royal Albert Memorial Museums Corporate Membership scheme and as a former Oxford Choral Scholar, John believes that Exeter Cathedral alone confirms the citys place as the South West capital.If there was ever any doubt about the capital of the region in terms of commerce and culture, there isnt any more. Exeter has a vibrant history and a Cathedral which is arguably one of the finest buildings in Europe. The multi- million pound developments at the University and its aspirations to be one of the top ten in the country all bode well for Devon.The South Wests economy may be going places but for now, at least in the investment world, the smart money appears to be staying rock solid.