Investments  

Product review: City Financial Adviser Centre fund research

City Financial, a London-based fund manager, is to launch a web-based fund research service, Adviser Centre, in spring 2014.

The free tool aims to provide “enhanced support” for advisers in a post-RDR environment facing increasing regulatory and competitive challenges.

Adviser Centre is being developed by two individuals, Peter Toogood and Gill Hutchison, who bring a combined 35 years of fund research and consultancy to the project.

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Material and information on third-party funds will be provided along with general market and industry commentary. In addition, around 100 established, actively managed funds will be recommended by City Financial that meet its criteria on investment quality, utility and cost.

It will also have a feature called ‘Positive Watch’, which will focus on younger investment talent and product innovations. Positive Watch will be “dynamic in nature and include managers who the firm believes have the capability and potential to be successful, as well as more experienced managers who may have recently changes firm, mandate or product”.

Adviser Centre will be free to use for advisers.

www.cityfinancial.co.uk

Comment

Demand for this type of fund will only increase. For all the talk of outsourcing investment management, an equally vocal cohort of advisers champion keeping it in-house. For these advisers, independent fund research and analysis is critical; the regulator has made it clear that it expects advisers not to rely on fund managers’ analysis of their own funds.

This service is free and will add to the existing fund analysis tools out there, which can only be a good thing for advisers looking to build up a picture of a fund.

The most interesting part of Adviser Centre is the Positive Watch feature. Newer products and managers are difficult for advisers to form a firm view on as limited information is available. Any analysis that looks deeper to establish whether a new approach is well-constructed can be extremely helpful for unknown quantities. This seems to be something of a trend in fund analysis, following the RSMR service for analysing newer product types and ranges.