Investments  

Novia unveils DFM offshoot Copia Capital Management

Copia will offer a range of risk-rated portfolios using passive instruments, including Oeics and ETFs, with portfolios being run and managed by Evrin Erdem, head of investment. Professor John Beaumont, chairman of the Copia investment committee, will oversee the portfolios.

These new, multi-asset model portfolios will be actively managed, with their tactical allocations being reviewed monthly and quarterly, and will be based on a systematic quantitative approach to investment strategy.

They will cover a broad range of global markets both in equities and bonds, which allows the investment strategy to be back-tested to demonstrate that the model is designed to deliver excess returns compared to a relevant index.

Access to these portfolios will be available exclusively to Novia advisers by the end of the year, and the asset allocation parameters for the new Copia portfolios will be set by using inputs from industry experts such as leading macro-economic research company Capital Economics.

As part of the suite of investment offerings, Copia will also be looking to launch a range of core/satellite portfolios made up of a range of underlying investments including investment trusts and plans to go live in 2014.

This will sit neatly into the entire Novia offering, which aims to provide a transparent pricing structure as well as access to a wide range of product wrappers each with its own cash facility, an extensive suite of portfolio management tools, and access to an extensive range of investment classes including shares, bonds, traditional authorised funds, ETFs and alternative investments.

Provider View

Bill Vasilieff, chief executive of Novia, said: “We are pleased to be launching Copia to the adviser market offering a new additional option of an actively managed suite of multi-asset model portfolios utilising passive instruments. The Copia investment proposition will combine investment expertise, and a proven quantitative approach, with the online capability, transparency and convenience of investing through the Novia platform.”

Adviser View

Tom Wilcox-Jones, senior financial adviser of Blackstone Moregate, in London, said: “This looks more like a simple off-the-shelf tracker fund rather than the dynamic discretionary fund that they have characterised it as, given that it is using passive instruments. It looks like Novia is trying to be all things to all financial advisers, as they are looking at pretty much all major markets around the globe, and at both equities and bonds, which again are areas which are well populated by some very good managed funds as well. The charges look cheap, but again looking on the pessimistic side this may well be simply to allow financial advisers room to whack some big margins on top.”

Charges

The charge levied by Novia on the portfolios will be in the region of 25 basis points (plus VAT).

Verdict

Although priced on the cheap side, there seems little reason to believe that these new Copia portfolios will do anything more than act as run-of-the-mill tracker-type funds, given that they are based on passive instruments (Oeics and ETFs, in particular). More positively, they are a mix of both equities and bonds, across many of the world’s markets, but again it is difficult to see how deep the active management element of these funds can run, given the basic instruments that are being used.