How Coutts is Finding & Winning New Clients With Beauhurst
440 Strand, London WC2R 0QS
Coutts offers private banking and wealth management services for high-net-worth-individuals and their families.
Greg Kyle-Langley is Head of Entrepreneurs at Coutts, leading a department of around 40 relationship managers across four teams, covering private and commercial clients. Specifically, he leads on broadening and deepening Coutts’ proposition for entrepreneurs.
Key uses of Beauhurst
- Finding soon-to-be high-net-worth-individuals
- Analysing funding trends in sectoral and regional markets
- Understanding networks to supplement relationship-based outreach
Which kinds of people are you and your team looking to work with?
There are two kinds of entrepreneurs that a wealth manager should be interested in. One I call the ‘traditional entrepreneur’. That’s somebody who has spent a couple of decades organically growing a business at a fairly modest pace, reinvesting profits as they go and building it as their life’s work and retirement plan.
The second is the ‘high-growth entrepreneur’, which has come to define modern startups. These are the people who set up a business with the aim of creating something valuable and selling it within five to ten years, growing using accelerators and venture funding, selling equity stakes as they go. The business probably isn’t profitable, but it is growing really quickly. And we’re seeing a fast-increasing pool of this type of entrepreneur across the UK.
At Coutts, we’ve spent 30 years building great relationships with traditional entrepreneurs, and the types of people that introduce us to entrepreneurs. But it’s the high-growth entrepreneurs that are selling their businesses for tens, maybe hundreds of millions of pounds. They’re a bit harder to do business with in the meantime, because they’re still drawing relatively ‘normal’ salaries up until that massive payday.
We’re building a high-growth proposition around these types of founders, and Beauhurst is the reason we’ve got people believing in it. It’s become an invaluable product for us.
How has Beauhurst changed your approach to sourcing these clients?
Before using Beauhurst, we had less focus on high-growth founders because it was harder to spot and track them—despite the fact that high-growth is clearly where the biggest amounts of money are being made in the UK, and that’s a really important area of the ecosystem for us to get closer to.
Through Beauhurst, my team and I are able to find and build relationships with the founders of businesses that look like they will sell their business for several tens of millions of pounds, before they become wealthy, and before they have private banking relationships. So, although it takes a little bit of extra time, it means we can find the people who are most likely to be winners early on.
It gives us a critical view of the high-growth space that you just won’t find anywhere else. And the way these companies have been researched is incredibly powerful, and the depth of information is super impressive. It blows my mind that you have had humans research each of them!
How do you use Beauhurst to find and approach soon-to-be-wealthy people?
We compile searches of people who are founders of equity-backed businesses in certain sectors or locations. Then, we either take immediate action there and then, reaching out to them via the associated email address, or add them to a Collection. This means we get notified every week of any updates, such as a fresh funding round or new office, which may serve as a trigger to get in touch.
We can also export lists of people we’d really like to speak to from the platform, and send them to our partners at NatWest to see if any of them can give us a warm intro. That’s really vital for us, because a warm approach always has better results.
The company timeline is also crucial to our work. One of the key metrics I’ve been using is the stage of fundraise. Being able to talk to founders about this and congratulating them on fundraisings is really important. Being able to see where they’ve hired people that we may know is also really useful, especially out in the regions where there are tighter communities of people.
How does Beauhurst help you better understand different markets?
Beauhurst has become an invaluable tool for us to analyse whole markets really quickly, and get an overview of different players in the space. The Explore page and Statistics tabs means we can see key funding trends in any area—whether that’s a whole region or a city, town, even a local authority—and the top equity-backed startups, plus the entrepreneurs with the highest paper-net-worth. The only other way to understand a region to the same extent is to build personal relationships with everyone involved, but that’s just not realistic.
One really interesting example for us is Cambridge. Cambridge is obviously full of really exciting high-growth university spinouts, especially in the tech and life sciences sectors. We’ve had a presence in Cambridge for many years. But if you’re not a part of the university, it’s really hard to get access to those companies and see what’s going on. So to actually see who the businesses are, which ones are raising the most, when they are raising, and which people are involved in them, in one platform, is really, really powerful, particularly for a place like Cambridge where you haven’t got the whole spotlight of London.
How has your team’s strategy changed since you started using Beauhurst?
Coutts started out with 15 Beauhurst licenses a year ago, and we’ve seen a huge cultural shift since then. At the beginning, everybody asked “Why? Why are we wasting our time with this, none of these people have enough liquidity to work with us yet?” But over the past year, Beauhurst has helped all of our relationship managers and leadership shift their state of mind, and understand that most of these people don’t have cash yet, but will be very wealthy in the near future.
After a few months of using the platform, our Account Manager, Zoe, asked us “How can I make it go faster?” And so, we’ve worked together to teach my team, who specialise in different sectors and geographies, how to set up Collections that really deliver for them, and not just find people who may be eligible to bank at Coutts, but those who will very likely need a wealth manager in the near future.
Now, each of us gets an email every Monday saying, Hey, there’s a new exciting and paper-wealthy entrepreneur to go and look into and maybe get in touch with. That’s a powerful addition to our relationship-based outreach. The product very quickly became invaluable to us, and has allowed us to build a successful high-growth proposition around these types of founders.
If we had carried on operating under the old regime, our future business pipeline would have dried up eventually, but now we have a constant stream of new, high-quality opportunities, and a brilliant team at Beauhurst to support us.
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