How do you get to the heart of what makes a business special?

Heartwood Investment Management is an award-winning, multi-asset class investment business. Owned by the Handelsbanken Group, Heartwood has an established reputation and client base, including private investors, charities, intermediaries and business owners.


Our challenge was to bring Heartwood's independent spirit to life by refreshing both their brand and digital experience.

How do you master the intricacies of financial services, rebrand a business and launch two interconnected websites simultaneously? 


Our objective was twofold. First, we needed to ensure audiences understood exactly what made the business special. Second, we had to make sure that these audiences could easily find all the information they needed to decide to work with Heartwood.

To get a comprehensive understanding of this multi-faceted business, we ran two workstreams simultaneously and collaboratively. Our brand specialists interviewed senior executives and focused on uncovering the essence of Heartwood's investment process. In the meantime, our digital team began untangling user journeys on the existing website.

The brand team soon settled upon a simple, intuitive idea of 'Clear Thinking'. Recognising how difficult it is to maintain a straightforward approach in ever-changing financial markets, we reinforced the narrative with bold visuals to help Heartwood stand out from the crowd.

Meanwhile, our digital team guided Heartwood through the various ways they could approach their website's architecture.

Our process ultimately led us to a 'digital estate' approach, where different user needs were served in different places. This was realised by creating separate, branded websites for Heartwood Investment Management and Handelsbanken Wealth Management.

We ensured the core of the website was focused on universally relevant content about the company culture, investment process and thought leadership.

Segmentation was kept within the core website to a minimum and limiting investment literature that requires protection behind a disclaimer.

A dedicated section for IFAs was created, which recognises that they need to understand the Heartwood story from a different perspective to clients and prospective clients. We developed a password-protected login area for Partner Firms, which allows Heartwood to deliver a more bespoke online service aligned to their premium brand positioning.

The ‘digital estate’ approach was underpinned by a tagging engine.

This allows documents, videos and team members to be published to multiple locations across the digital estate (including the Handelsbanken Wealth Management site) from a single interface.


We chose Emperor because we believed that their senior team had the knowledge and expertise to help us revitalise our brand and website, and we were not disappointed. We never struggled to reach them throughout the six-month project and always had confidence that they would be available if we needed them.

"The relationship between their brand and digital teams was also very strong and worked well. Experts in both teams helped us ensure our brand was developed appropriately for each channel. It was clear from the start that they cared just as much about the integrity of our brand and website as we did. The project was delivered on time and on budget. We would not hesitate to recommend them."

- MARIAN BLACK / Head of Investment Marketing, Heartwood


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