RC Brown’s Alpha DFM team starts strongly

Discretionary manager Alpha Portfolio Management has already reached £30m in funds under management, in spite of the team only coming together in February.

Andrew Morris, principal and head of business development at the business, said he believed the firm could easily grow to manage “hundreds of millions” in assets through its focus on outsourced business from financial advisers.

The discretionary management firm was founded by former members of Rowan Dartington Signature after its team left to join fellow discretionary manager RC Brown Investment Management.

Both firms are aiming for outsourced intermediary business and collectively their assets have recently surpassed £100m.

However, while Alpha and RC Brown use the same administrative framework and share some research capabilities, Mr Morris said the companies operate as separate firms and see each other as rivals in the discretionary management space.

Mr Morris and Alan Beaney, investment director at RC Brown, said they had avoided a merger because they had seen too many wealth management tie-ups fail in the past.

Alpha was launched in January 2014, consisting of Mr Morris, Joe Dyer as head of portfolio management, Helen Parry as head of client services and Claire Hudd as head of support services. Head of research Mark Sevier and head of propositions James Gardner joined in February 2014 to complete the team.

Mr Morris, who co-founded Rowan Dartington in 1990, said the experience in the team of managing discretionary assets on behalf of financial advisers would differentiate Alpha in the highly competitive battle for outsourced adviser assets.

He pointed to the experience across the team “of working with financial advisers and the way that we have triangular relationships with adviser and client”.

The team’s reputation among advisers has already seen assets grow to £30m, but Mr Morris said the team could handle much more in terms of assets, given that Mr Dyer previously had oversight for “hundreds of client portfolios”.

However, Mr Morris insisted that the firm did not have any growth plans set in stone.

Alpha’s bespoke service is available for a minimum investment of £100,000 and Mr Morris pointed out that was less than many peers, especially larger firms that have abandoned smaller bespoke clients due to the lack of profitability.

But Mr Morris said working with RC Brown allowed the firms to lower their cost base, offering a bespoke solution at a reasonable entry point.