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.

> Strong Brand

> Secure

> Expensive way to invest.

> Pays retrocession commission to your adviser.

> Potential for conflict of interest.

The DFM Service

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 (GBP)

Next 1 million (GBP)

Next 3 million (GBP)





Fees available upon 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. 

Final Verdict

Money invested in the DFM is safe and held in trust through one of their nominee companies or by an approved custodian, and they are not permitted to use client money and assets in the course of their own business activities. The size and reach of Brewin Dolphin make them a very secure company to invest with.

However, while Brewin Dolphin has a strong brand, history, and provides a range of managed DFM solutions which are fairly secure, they are unfortunately not best positioned to deal with international professionals. Investors should also understand the fees associated with the DFM through the various documents that are provided by them.

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


Get in touch

Whether you need a second opinion, want to find a qualified adviser, or just have some questions, Expat Money is here to help.

We'll call or email, learn about you and take you through your options.