Lombard looks to UK expansion with DC offering

Lombard looks to UK expansion with DC offering

Investment management firm Lombard Odier is looking at providing a DC solution as part of its bid to expand across the British market.

The Swiss private firm, which manages around £32bn, has been in the UK for eight years, but is now extending its reach towards Britain’s affluent retail investors.

Dominick Peasley, Lombard Odier’s head of third party distribution, said the firm was thinking about what it could provide to cater to the specific needs of the UK market.

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Mr Peasley said: “The whole DC market is definitely an area we are looking at, and at how people accumulate assets through their life and then enter into drawdown.

“Theodore Economou has come in as the chief investment officer of our multi-asset business, and we are working with him to talk about how we can develop off the back of that market and create additional solutions.”

But he said that Lombard Odier would not come to the market with a bog-standard DC fund and is working on something more innovative.

Mr Peasley said: “There has been a large growth in multi-assets in the UK and, for us, it is a question of how we can come to that market and differentiate ourselves. The investors we work with come to us for innovative solutions.”

If Lombard Odier were to launch a DC offering it would be just the latest asset management company to do so in response to April’s pension reforms. In January, Schroders launched a flexible pre-retirement fund, while Aberdeen launched four multi-asset funds which it claimed would act as a low-cost option for the pension freedoms market.

In September Lombard Odier made eight of its funds available through Cofunds and Hargreaves Lansdown’s Vantage platform. These include: Golden Age, which invests in companies that will benefit from the world’s ageing population; Global Energy which provides access to the North American shale gas market, and Europe High Conviction, a concentrated portfolio of pan-European equities.

Adviser view

Carl Melvin, director of Renfrewshire-based Affluent Financial Planning, said: “I suppose more competition is a good thing if delivers value for the consumer.

“If a provider is one of a number in the retirement market then you have to ask what they are doing to capture market share because there is an element of providers having a ‘me too’ approach.”