‘You’ve got to understand how returns are generated’

When it was announced at the beginning of this year that Trevor Greetham was to leave Fidelity Worldwide Invest­ment, where he had been asset allocation director for nearly a decade, it took many by surprise.

Mr Greetham had seemed inextricably linked to the company and was a familiar face to investors and the media alike.

Shortly after his departure in January he turned up at Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), where he has been overseeing the development of a range of multi-asset products for UK retail investors, the launch of which is imminent.

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When asked what prompted this move to RLAM, Mr Greetham does not deny it was a “big decision”.

He elaborates: “It was a feeling that in the early stages of being at Fidelity I was setting up something new. They didn’t have multi-asset funds and I set up multi-asset funds and developed the tactical asset allocation process for them. As time went on, I found myself being asked to manage some of the funds I’d set up. And I was getting less involved in the early stage of business development, like strategy and product design, which I find really interesting.”

He continues: “Royal London happened to come along and for me it was a fantastic opportunity because Royal London has an unbelievably good position in the pensions market in the UK. So they’re very well placed for the new pensions freedoms and I felt that my experience of multi-asset funds outside of the pensions wrapper and Royal London’s very strong performance in pensions could work very well together, so we could complement each other.”

By his own account, he is now responsible for a “substantial sum of money” in terms of tactical asset allocation.

“I’m not hung up on amounts but I’m managing tactical asset allocation for about £50bn [in relation to Royal London pension assets]... so it’s a big responsibility,” he acknowledges. “But it’s really exciting setting something up, having a process I can bring here and develop properly and there’s an entrepreneurial side to it that really appeals to me – getting something built, seeing it develop, understanding you’re trying to do the best for your clients in all the ways that you can, rather than just in a narrow way.”

With RLAM’s range of multi-asset funds yet to come to market, it is a rather late entrant to the burgeoning space. So what can investors expect, given that the funds have been designed in light of the pension reforms?

Says Mr Greetham: “I’ve always believed in simplicity, so a very clearly designed range of funds with very clear investment objectives, aligned with what people are trying to do, that ordinary people actually want, whether it’s within a pensions wrapper or outside a pensions wrapper.”

He believes the changes to pensions rolled out by the government have “blurred [the] lines”.