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Brewin Dolphin

Brewin Dolphin plc. is one of the largest British investment management and financial planning firms. It has 30 offices across the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands.

The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

The business can trace its origins back to the establishment of the stockbroking firm of John Dawes, a founder of the London Stock Exchange, in 1762. His firm evolved through many partner changes to become Wontner, Dolphin & Francis in 1970. 

In 1974 Brewin & Co merged with Wontner, Dolphin & Francis to form Brewin Dolphin.

Brewin Dolphin has been working with financial advisers and their clients for over 25 years. In total they manage over £40bn in investments and £10.1bn of this is for financial advisers on behalf of their clients.

Our Verdict
A Closer Look
Customer Reviews

As a Discretionary Investment Manager, Brewin Dolphin manages investments on your behalf.

The ‘discretionary’ part of their title means that once you and your adviser have appointed them to manage your money to a particular brief, or ‘mandate’, they have the responsibility to make the investment decisions to ensure they keep to it.

This also means that they do not need to seek permission from you or your adviser each time a change is made to your portfolio. 

Brewin Dolphin says that as a DFM, their key responsibilities are:

  • Keeping you and your adviser up-to-date on performance.
  • Creating and managing your investment portfolio.
  • Managing your money to your risk mandate.

As part of their DFM service, Brewin Dolphin provides you with quarterly reports and valuations, including commentary on the economic and investment environment.

They also provide a comprehensive year-end tax pack and access to online valuations through a secure website.

The key features of Brewin Dolphin's Discretionary Fund Management services are as follows:

  • They provide a complete investment solution, based on your needs and what your current adviser recommends.
  • You will have your own dedicated investment manager.
  • They offer the benefits of a large-scale operation with all the research, portfolio building and investment management expertise needed.
  • Brewin Dolphin gives you access to reviews, analysis, reports and online valuations.
  • A research team identifies a ‘buy list’ of thoroughly researched investments, from which your investment manager will select when building your portfolio.

Annual management fees for Brewin Dolphin's DFM services are:

First £1 million 1.0%
Next £1 million 0.8%
Next £3 million 0.5%
Balance fees available on request


Fees will be charged in arrears and deducted quarterly.

The minimum quarterly fee is £250 + VAT.

There are no transaction commissions relating to your portfolio. However, some charges relating to activity on your portfolio will apply. 

You can learn more about their fees and charges in the documents section of this review.


  • The value of investments can fall and you may get back less than you invested. 
  • We would highly recommend reading the 'expert verdict' section of this review to make an informed decision.

Additionally, here's a free guide that can help you achieve better results. In this guide, you'll learn:

  • Academic evidence only shared with a select few firms across the world
  • A real-life example of why you should never try to outguess the market
  • Why a fund's past performance is not enough to predict future returns
  • Why you need to focus on what you can control and why this leads to a better investment experience
  • Why you should accept the markets for what they are
  • What can impact behaviour and make people seek instant gratification

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The Pros

> Strong brand
> Secure

The Cons

> Expensive way to invest
> Active methodology is academically questionable
> Pays retrocession commission to your adviser
> Potential for conflict of interest
How safe is my money with Brewin Dolphin's DFM services?

Brewin Dolphin hold all client money in accordance with the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) client money rules.

This means they hold client money in trust with one of their nominee companies or by an approved overseas custodian.

All client assets held by a nominee company or custodian are ring-fenced from Brewin Dolphin’s own monies in accordance with the
FCA’s rules.

They are not permitted to use client money and assets in the course of their own business activities.

Any creditors of Brewin Dolphin would have no legal right to your assets in the unlikely
event that they became insolvent.

Brewin Dolphin’s nominee companies are separate legal entities and are non-trading
companies so they cannot run up liabilities of their own.

What are the transaction charges I would have to pay Brewin Dolphin?

Brewin Dolphin's transaction charges can be summarised below:

Description Amount charged
Stamp duty on purchases of UK equities / investment trusts 0.5%
Panel on takeovers and mergers levy (transactions over £10,000 only) in securities of companies incorporated in the UK £1


NOTE: The rate of stamp duty may vary in line with changes to UK law.

What are Brewin Dolphin's transfer out charges?

Brewin Dolphin's transfer out charges can be summed up below:

Description Amount
UK holding per line of stock £15
Overseas holdings per line of stock £25
Preparation of transfers, change of address forms, etc. £15

NOTE: UK VAT is applied on fees and charges in line with applicable legislation.

No longer a client of Brewin Dolphin

Brewin Dolphin effectively told me I wasn't rich enough to remain their client! Seriously unimpressed.

Expert assessment of Brewin Dolphin

While Brewin Dolphin has a strong brand and provides a range of managed DFM solutions which are fairly secure, they are not positioned to deal with international professionals.

We believe that there are better and more cost-effective alternatives.

If you already have investments with Brewin Dolphin worth £500,000 or more, we strongly recommend you seek a Second Opinion to ensure you are on track to get and keep the life you want.


Brewin Dolphin - DFM Services for Financial Advisers

Brewin Dolphin - MyBrewin Guide

Brewin Dolphin - DFM Client Brochure

Brewin Dolphin - Retail Client Terms and Conditions

Brewin Dolphin - Risk Guide

Brewin Dolphin - Protection of Client Money and Assets

Brewin Dolphin - Service Guide for Financial Advisers

Brewin Dolphin - Discretionary Management Fees and Charges - FUM >£10m

Brewin Dolphin - Discretionary Management Fees and Charges - FUM < £10m

threesixty Due Diligence

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