This can include the use of centralised investment propositions, model portfolio services, multi-asset or multi-manager solutions right through to bespoke wealth management and discretionary managed portfolios.
Research from The Lang Cat and CWC Research in their report Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width on the CIP market, shows that 70 per cent of the sample surveyed by CWC Research used their own model portfolios.
In addition, in the comparison between multi-asset or multi-manager solutions and discretionary fund managers (DFMs), the average proportion of assets under investment held in multi-manager solutions was 27.5 per cent compared with just 17.5 per cent held in DFMs. Cost, performance and methodology were the three most common criteria for choosing the eventual solution.
As we move further into 2015, there are a number of headwinds that look set to keep the wealth management and private client industry on its toes. This includes regulations that seek to restrict the retail distribution of certain instruments such as contingent convertibles, with the Wealth Management Association (WMA) noting in its response to an FCA consultation: “In line with previous WMA comments about the lack of clarity around elements of the non-mainstream pooled investment definition, we believe that the ‘contingent convertible instrument’ definition as currently drafted does not provide firms with the level of certainty that they need in order to develop rigorous and consistently-applied controls.”
Other potential headwinds include the macroeconomic environment and the need to perhaps further diversify a portfolio to deliver returns in a low-growth environment, but with the requirement to also keep risk within set parameters in order to meet client needs. Then there are the technology and compliance needs facing discretionary managers where more and more people want to make their decisions remotely.
Figures show that the assets of the UK wealth management industry continued to increase in 2014, but with more focus on costs and performance and what investors get for their money, this year could see further pressure on the industry to be more transparent in how and what they are delivering.
Nyree Stewart is features editor at Investment Adviser