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Discretionary Fund Management - October 2013



    The reason behind this is simple. Without the pressure of making investment portfolio allocation calls for their clients, the adviser can increase their focus on holistic financial planning.

    While that, in principle, is a good idea, the reality of the situation is far more complicated – for the most part in selecting which solution is best suited to a specific client.

    Currently there is little in the way of accurate performance comparisons for discretionary fund managers (DFMs) aside from what is compiled by Asset Risk Consultants (Arc) and is not made public.

    In August, Arc published its latest list of firms that are providing it with performance data, showing that Brewin Dolphin, Ashcourt Rowan, Rowan Dartington, Brown Shipley and London & Capital are among the firms that have not yet signed up.

    Speaking to Investment Adviser at the time, Aj Somal, certified financial planner at Aurora Financial Planning, said some discretionary managers were shown “in a bad light” by not submitting comparative performance data.

    “With discretionary managers marketing themselves more to advisers all the time, that information would be useful to us to show performance. In terms of due diligence, it is one of the reasons why we haven’t chosen certain discretionary managers.”

    The due diligence process that advisers should go through in order to marry the most appropriate solution with their client is lengthy and according to Clive Hale, co-founder of Albermarle, there is a bewildering array of options to consider.

    He writes: “According to the latest Brooks Macdonald survey there are 224 DFMs available. Filtering this list down, say, by using total funds under management reduces this number to roughly 60 running more than £2.5bn.

    “The list of possible candidates needs to be filtered down further to roughly half a dozen looking at the options mentioned above and suitability for the client bank.”

    So what appears to be a simple solution on the surface is certainly not as clear cut as ticking a box and assigning clients to discretionary management firms.

    Jenny Lowe is features editor at Investment Adviser

    This special report is sponsored by OCM Wealth Management. All editorial is independent.

    In this special report


    Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

    1. According to the latest Brooks Macdonald survey how many DFMs are available?

    2. Roughly how many DFMs run more than £2.5bn in total funds under management?

    3. Larger discretionary managers such as Brewin Dolphin and Charles Stanley have done what this year, citing regulatory pressures for doing so?

    4. What does CIP stand for?

    5. It is estimated that what percentage of platform assets are in model portfolios?

    6. What happened to DFM portfolios, on average in the third quarter of 2013?

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