Momentum ups UK reach with Pennine deal

Multi-asset specialist Momentum Global Investors is seeking to expand its UK reach following the launch of four model portfolios based on its Factor Series multi-manager funds.

The group was appointed last week by Liontrust to run four portfolios, branded ‘IPlus’, for Pennine Wealth Solutions, an investment proposition run by Lancashire advice firm True Bearing Chartered.

The appointment comes after a review of the range by Pennine, which resulted in Premier Asset Management and Aria Capital Partner being removed from mandates.

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The Pennine range of models now numbers 27, 23 of which are run by Liontrust’s John Husselbee. The service now runs more than £44m for True Bearing clients and other adviser firms.

John Husselbee, head of multi-asset at Liontrust, said: “Having worked with Pennine over the past six years, we felt it was an ideal time to assess the range of portfolios available.

“The resulting IPlus range is something we believe provides an excellent complement to the existing growth and income portfolios. Having researched the market, Momentum was the stand-out choice on the back of its investment expertise and experience in managing inflation-targeting strategies.”

The four models are based on Momentum’s existing three Factor Series funds, which have return targets of between 3 per cent and 5 per cent above the rate of inflation. The highest risk IPlus portfolio is based on the Factor 5 fund with additional “satellite” holdings in an effort to meet its target of inflation plus 6 per cent.

The Factor funds and the new portfolios are also risk-targeted based on Distribution Technology’s risk profiles.

Nick Robert-Nicoud, head of institutional business and strategic marketing at Momentum, said the group had been building and managing bespoke portfolios similar to this for clients across Asia and in South Africa, but this was the first time it had done so in the UK.

James Klempster, manager of the Momentum funds, said constructing bespoke portfolios “has been a successful model for us for a while”, and said the group would roll it out further in the UK if there was demand.

He also hinted that Momentum would consider adding to the Factor Series funds with a unitised product targeting 6 per cent above inflation “if there is a business case over the long term”.

Pennine’s compliance partner Helen Lupton said the new range “offers strong defensive qualities and the portfolios are managed with an absolute return mindset”.

Momentum’s Factor funds were launched in November 2012 as the group’s first venture into the UK retail market. Since then they have raised roughly £7.7m in 18 months.

In 2013, the funds’ first full calendar year, the Factor 4 and Factor 5 funds outperformed their respective benchmarks based on CPI inflation, gaining 7.8 per cent and 11.5 per cent respectively. However, the Factor 3 fund’s 2.1 per cent gain missed its CPI plus 3 per cent target.

Pennine’s manager line-up


John Husselbee has been running money for Pennine Wealth Solutions for six years with his firm North Investment Partners, and is now responsible for more than 20 portfolios within the range, all of which are based around his long-standing Wealth Solutions brand.