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Signia's Max Chapman, Client Account Manager, appears in Wealth Manager's Next Gen feature

Max Chapman

Published 14/10/2021

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Signia's Max Chapman, Client Account Manager, appears in Wealth Manager's Next Gen feature

Wealth Manager

Next Gen: Max Chapman, Signia

Published 14 October 2021, by Ross Miller


"This week's Next Gen up-and-comer is Max Chapman, client account manager at Signia.  He discusses his culinary skills, the importance of open-mindedness and what he'd bring to a desert island!


What was it that originally attracted you to the world of finance/wealth management?

I first became aware of the industry by watching films like Wall Street and Trading Places when I was younger, there was a real energy about the films which initially wet my interest.  I went on to choose Economics as one of my A-level subjects and eventually studied it at university.

By the time I had graduated and completed a four week work experience placement at HSBC, I could barely wait to start working in the industry.  One thing is for sure, the industry has become far more credible since the 80s and 90s if the films were anything to go by.

Who is your investment hero/someone you admire in the industry?

I would have to say my first ever boss, Mark Pickering.  Not only is Mark responsible for the start of my career in finance, but he was also great to work with, the perfect balance of work and play which is incredibly important.  Mark, if you're reading this, I had to put someone.

Biggest issue facing this generation in the wealth management space?

The industry is evolving, people are making their money in new and exciting ways and are looking for investment opportunities which make a difference in the world.  There are firms that are placed to cater to and attract these types of clients, and there are firms that are not.  Make sure you don't find yourself working in a firm that sits in the latter category.

What was your best investment decision?

My best decision was to not invest what little savings I had in bitcoin and instead buy a flat with my girlfriend.  It was a scary decision to go through with our flat purchase, which was in London, in the midst of the pandemic, although the stamp duty holiday certainly took the edge off.  It took years of saving up and many weekends of staying in to get to that point, there is no doubt it is incredibly hard for our generation to buy their own property.  Gone are the days of being able to buy a 3 bed in Wimbledon for £60k.

What advice would you give to young talent who want to enter the world of wealth management?

Without sounding too obvious, acquire work experience whenever possible.  Once you have your foot in the door, please do not think you need to become a specialist in your field overnight.  Try and get as much experience under your belt in your 20s by doing different roles and working with different types of clients / firms and eventually you will find something you are passionate about along the way.  Find a firm that values you as a human being and offers you a healthy work-life balance.  No role is worth your mental or physical health, or your personal relationships.

In what way does being of a younger generation benefit/bring an advantage to your role?

I think the younger generation are (fortunately) much more open minded when it comes to people from different backgrounds who possess a set of skills and perspective different to theirs.  I am very aware that diverse teams are more successful teams and there are plenty of studies to back them up.  They are also more conscious about ESG issues, mainly because they are witnessing first hand the negative side effects of climate change and the ever louder voice in the fight for equality.  These characteristics will benefit them as ESG investment becomes increasingly prevalent in the industry, but it will also help them shape a better work environment which is more inclusive for all.

What is the biggest wider issue surrounding the wealth management industry?

Although things appear to be improving, we still have a long way to go with gender equality.  I have witnessed first hand larger firms actively trying to improve the gender balance at both ends of the company, but I have also seen first hand women struggle to navigate this industry.  Unfortunately, just hiring more women is not enough and we need to adapt the workplace, which has traditionally been built for men, to be a place that is inclusive for women too.  Whilst I appreciate these things do take time, and Rome wasn't built in a day, we need to get on with building it.

Most significant moment of your career so far in wealth management.

I believe that each time you move roles / company, it needs to be for the correct reasons career wise.  With that in mind, the most significant moment in my career so far was accepting the offer to come and work at Signia.  It is a great place to work and I have learnt so much in the short time I have been here so far.  Long may that continue.

Perfect tea/biscuit combination?

Purely for its dunkability, the humble Chocolate Hobnob.  A special mention has to go out to Fox's Viennese.  For my tea, leave the tea bag in for a while but I like a good glug of milk.  Strong but milky is not an oxymoron.

Marooned on a desert island - one book, one album, one practical item?

Lord of Rings (All three in one), once I have finished reading it I could use it as a flotation device.  Paolo Nutini - These Streets.  A Wilson beach volleyball so I don't get lonely.

You have a time machine - do you go to the future or past, what date and time and where?

If I can return to the present, then I would go to the future and just see what the next Euromillions numbers are.  Or go forward 100 years and see if Arsenal ever finish top 4 again.

You can live in any country in the world from tomorrow but you can never leave that country, where do you choose?

Spain, specifically Ibiza.  I have been learning un poco Espanol during lockdown so I would love to build on that.  Plus I love Ibiza, it is a fantastic place for people of all ages and tastes.

What three people (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party?  And what do you cook?

Thierry Henry, Freddie Mercury and my Grandad on my Father's side as I sadly never got to meet him.  I would cook my famous 25 pot Korean Fried Chicken.  Do I have to clear up?

You are granted one mild superpower - what do you choose?  (ie the ability to fly but only about 6ft off the ground).

The ability to telepathically communicate with my Miniature Dachshund Penelope.


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