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Trust not Trusts

By Charles Hutchinson
This article is published on: 15th November 2021

In this article I want to explore trust in business, although the two in the title have always been synonymous with each other. Trusts were created at the time of the Crusades in the Middle Ages to enable the Crusader Knights to leave their estates in the hands of someone they alone trusted. To this day you place your trust in someone to look after your assets which is why that someone is called a trustee.

Trust is an abstract concept and without it business could not function – certainly not at the volumes and levels it does – or else one would be reduced to solely carrying out transactions which were guaranteed by some 3rd party.

In financial services, trust is the basic ingredient, the bedrock, the lubricant if you like, which allows the flow of capital to its destination for the good of both individuals and companies. In Spectrum’s case, it is of course for the benefit and well being of our private clients. It must be remembered that Spectrum’s business model is built neither on publicity nor advertising, but on referrals. This means that if new clients come to us because they know of someone who has benefited from our services, they do so solely on trust.

Spectrum in turn places its trust in its providers (whether they be tax lawyers, life assurance companies or pension trust companies) and investment houses. We are responsible for the financial well being of all our clients and for that reason we have to be very careful in whom we place our trust. We are not in the risk business but in the wealth preservation business, for today’s clients and their future generations.

Trust is spawned by truth. They are intertwined. If you always tell the truth (whether it be good or bad) a relationship will form between the speaker and the listener which cannot be eroded by other parties whose ethics are somewhat less than ours. Spectrum has a mantra – the client before the business – which in simple terms is the question: to whose advantage is a particular step – the client or the company?

Trust is a two way street. If our clients trust us, then we must trust our clients to tell us the truth from outset and to behave responsibly in this relationship. We have a duty to our clients and so they must reciprocate likewise.

Trust in banks nowadays is not as fruitful as it once was. This can almost certainly be attributed to them treating their customers as numbers, not as people. I have a widowed, infirm client whose grandfather was the chairman of a major UK clearing bank. She was treated with disdain – it simply meant nothing.

Finally, you take trust to a breaking point if you cannot show professional credentials. Would you be flown by an unqualified unlicensed pilot (the recent tragic death of that well known soccer player being the most recent example)? Would you have medical treatment from an unqualified medical practitioner? Or an architect without him/her being accredited to the relevant professional body in your country?

Trust is an incredibly rewarding relationship. You only have to read the testimonials on this website to see how rewarding it is – for both parties. If you would like to explore in more detail these rewards and find out more of how we do business with our clients and what we can do for you, do please contact me below:

Article by Charles Hutchinson

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