Coronavirus Update

Five Minutes with . . . Ian Bolton


1. Please can you tell us about your role at James Sharp?

As a partner I am responsible for the financial and operational performance of the firm. My day-to-day job includes working as part of the front office team, researching companies, advising and looking after private clients.
I am also a fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.

2. You’ve been with the Company for over 20 years. Tell us about some of the highlights and changes you have seen during this time?

I joined James Sharp as a dealer in 1994, became a Partner in 1997 and was made Senior Partner in 2003. By the time I joined the firm, I had been broking for 7 years. During my 30 years in the industry I have enjoyed many highlights and witnessed many notable changes - the most momentous being Big Bang in 1986, which saw the City of London deregulated almost overnight. Dramatically changing the structure of financial markets in London, Big Bang heralded the beginning of free market principles, replacing open out cry with electronic trading. Paper transfers and share certificates were gradually replaced through Crest into an electronic format and transactions, process and settlement are now much more effective.

Black Monday followed shortly after. During the spring and summer of 1987 the market climbed almost continuously, with private clients joining a bandwagon of professional investors through privatizations and financial recommendations. This culminated in the crash of October 1987 providing investors with a major reality check. Higher interest rates in 1989 eventually saw a material slowdown in business. Notable highlights during my time with James Sharp include occasions when the company has delivered capital and income appreciation over a period of time - culminating in takeovers in certain situations. Over the years this has happened in some of the small brewery companies, water companies and other stocks we are associated with. Enhancing client assets over a period of time is always a great feeling!

3. What sets James Sharp apart from other stockbrokers?

Our reputation. We look after our clients and always try to provide a bespoke service that is tailored to their own unique requirements.

The majority of our clients have a material interest in stock market investment, so following individual Companies has proved beneficial when it comes to developing client relationships and enhancing value.

I am also very proud of the longevity of our team.

4. You have 30 years experience in stockbroking. Give us your best piece of advice for colleagues/clients?

It’s hard to select just one piece of advice, so I have chosen to share my top five…

  • Communication is key! Make sure you keep your clients informed - preferably verbally.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit you’re wrong.
  • I’ve been in broking for 30 years but have never stopped learning. Keep researching and retaining knowledge!
  • Always have an honest, practical, common sense approach with your clients.
  • Last but not least, expect the unexpected!

5. James Sharp’s office has a spectacular panoramic vista of Bury. What can you see from your desk today?

I have a great view of the East Lancashire railway, which enabled me to witness the restoration and rebirth of the Flying Scotsman, from my desk, last year.

Holcombe Hill is also in the distance, reminding me of the time I completed The Three Towers Challenge for charity with my colleagues.

Inside the office I am regularly looking at my Bloomberg screen in the hope that I’ll see rising share prices!