‘It was just one of those things that I had to do’
Swiss and Global Asset Management’s Keith Rumbelow talks to Jenny Lowe about start-ups, fees and his move to an international asset management group
After a childhood spent in Asia, Mr Rumbelow is particularly fond of the Julius Baer Luxury Brand fund, managed by Scilla Huang Sun.
“It is really all about the emerging market consumption and is a long-term theme. It is a whole different experience, away from the traditional equity exposure. There is nothing wrong with equity income funds, some of them are really good, but this offers something different when it comes to emerging market exposure and that is really interesting,” he says.
“It has a pretty long track record, but the manager has been managing luxury products for 10-13 years. There are a number of funds that are up there together in the luxury product space, but you aren’t really comparing apples with apples. A lot of these funds, again I’m not criticising, but you might find Tesco or Diageo in there, but you won’t find those types of stocks in this fund, it is purely a luxury product fund.”
With experience at both boutiques and global asset management companies, Mr Rumbelow doesn’t rule out the possibility of returning to a smaller player at some point in the future, but warns that setting up a successful new business in the current environment would be near impossible. “I would never say never, but when Neptune was set up in 2002, the marketplace was a very different place. It probably actually was really the last realistic opportunity where you could have set up an asset management business with so few funds and so little in assets under management and really make a success of it. Imagine trying to do that in 2007 or 2008,” he states.
“Both small boutiques and global asset managers have their advantages, but in the current environment it definitely helps to be in a larger organisation because clients feel far more comfortable.”
According to Mr Rumbelow, it is the RDR that has given Swiss and Global more of a catalyst to develop the distribution.
He explains: “A year ago when we started out, three of us here, I would go to meetings and people wouldn’t know who S&G were, that was our first challenge, to get the brand awareness increased. Over the past year, we have achieved that very effectively.”
One of the latest things that the distribution team at Swiss and Global has been challenged with is getting the funds represented on more of the platforms.
“We are forging relationships with a number of the platforms, there is a real opportunity for us,” he explains.
Of course, the RDR has also brought with it pricing pressure and Mr Rumbelow is currently working with the team at Swiss and Global on how this will be applied to its stable of products.