Darren Butterfield-Manchester is a London-based asset manager. He has a firm that has over GBP 20 million under management, and that amount is growing every year. His firm’s growth has a lot to do with his consistency in giving good returns to his customers. Since he started the firm, Darren has averaged a return of more than 20% a year, with exponential returns in some years. For instance, in 2018 he made a return of 150% shorting Bitcoin. Darren’s success is not a fluke, but the result of hard work that saw him acquire some of the industry’s best skills. Darren holds a bachelor’s degree in finance, and graduated among the top ten students in his class. He did not stop there, and went on to earn several important industry certifications. Darren is a Certified Fund Specialist (CFS), a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and is also a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA). After his studies, Darren joined the world of high finance; working for some of the biggest investment banks in London. In a decade, he worked for three top firms and consistently earned bonuses for his good work. It is this performance that propelled him to start his firm. Darren has leveraged his success to help the less fortunate in society. He runs a foundation that helps children from low-income families’ access quality education. Darren grew up poor and hopes to use his wealth to help children from backgrounds similar to his, excel in life. Over the last four years, Darren has committed more than GBP 2 million to this foundation. Away from work and philanthropy, Darren loves spending time with his friends and family. He has a boat where he spends quality time with them whenever he has the time.
Let’s start by telling us about your business.
I am a fund manager, and trades my personal assets and those of my clients. I created this business out of an interest for finance and financial management, and so far it has paid off. I have managed to make an ROI of over 20% annually, and in some years, I made even higher returns. For instance, in 2018, I had an ROI of over 100%. Getting to this level has been largely out of a passion for finance, a passion that saw me pursue a degree in Finance. I enjoyed it and did quite well, graduating among the top in my class. I also pursued a number of other certifications that have helped in market analysis. Thanks to this passion and skills, the firm is growing quite well. We will be launching in the U.S market in March, with a base capital of $100 million. It’s a true testament of our success so far.
Q: Please tell us how you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
Simple, by offering world class financial services. Clients come to me because they want a good results, and I always deliver. For the four years that we have been in operation, I have returned an ROI of over 20% annually. This has made our clients very happy, and even seen them refer their friends.
Q: Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition?
My business is different in that it focuses on the client and their unique needs. Instead of offering joint fund management services for all our clients, we seek to offer them services that will work for their growth individually. Our business also has strong moral codes and values. In as much as we seek to make profits, we also look out for others in our community. We contribute our time and other resources towards educating poor children.
Q: And to finish this section, please tell us what is the one major key to your company’s success?
The key to my company’s success has been hard work. It has taken years of hard work and perseverance to get the company where it is today. I started out small with very few clients but through hard work I managed to increase my client list. I also invested a lot of time and money in gaining the skills that I felt were necessary for me to excel in my field. With time I managed to find a professional team of experts together with whom we have continued to grow the company.
Q: For our readers just starting to build a company, what advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
I would advise them to find what they are most passionate about and what truly motivates them. Once you settle on something that you are passionate about, there are no limits to what one can persevere to ensure that they succeed. It is also important to plan and set aside the finances that will be invested into the business. Undertaking a business is a risk and one should factor in the possibility of making losses before the business is able to make profits. There are some costs that will be incurred while starting up which will take a while before they can be recovered. When you have a contingency plan in place, you will weather such challenges more easily.
Q: For entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what one big piece of advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
I would advise them to keep the fire burning and not give up. With every challenge that one is able to overcome, the business grows closer to success.
Q: In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
I enroll for refresher courses for myself and my staff yearly. This helps us to not only polish our skills but to acquire new and relevant skills. With the evolution of digital technology, we have had to embrace its use in our practice and learn how it works to better advise our clients. I also have a close relationship with business offering similar services and we share information and learn from each other.
Q: What is your “Why”? In one sentence, why do you get up in the morning?
To make the world a better place for the future generations.
Q: In one sentence, what is the most important thing one has to do to be a great leader?
Delegation – it helps all the team members grow confident and perform better.
Q: In one sentence, describe how important your customers are to your business?
My customers are at the core of my business and are the reason I have gotten this far.
Q: In one sentence, describe a positive way that technology can make the world a better place?
Digital evolution in healthcare could help save and lengthen people’s lives.
Q: In one sentence, tell us how something positive to motivate our readers?
It gets better with time.
Q: In one sentence, tell us how you start your day to get ready?
I exercise shortly after waking up, meditate for half an hour then have a healthy breakfast before leaving the house.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you handle rejection and setback?
I go at it again and again until I get what I want.
Q: In one sentence, describe what your hiring philosophy is?
I look for ambitious and passionate characters.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you keep your sanity in a competitive business environment?
I prioritize, delegate and take breaks when the need arises.