“The industry... has evolved and it’s more outcome-focused”

Given the recent market volatility and the introduction of pension freedoms last year, it is hardly surprising that more investors are looking at ‘outcome-orientated’ investments.

In an increasingly crowded multi-asset marketplace, this may just represent an opportunity for smaller firms to make a name for themselves – provided, that is, they can differentiate their products.

Peter Askew, chief executive and senior fund manager at T Bailey Asset Management, explains: “Everyone likes to think they’re different, but I think we do look at the investment opportunity differently and come at it from the outcome that investors expect.

“We’re not starting off from the other side of the equation, ‘how much money can we run, what’s the product where we can go away and acquire assets?’ [It is] ‘how can we grow that and build a business that’s built on consistent investment performance that meets the objectives of investors?’”

Director and senior fund manager Elliot Farley says the development of the business has not been “one single event – it’s lots of marginal improvements and evolution”.

Mr Farley could be considered a T Bailey lifer. From being an accountant at Deloitte, he joined the firm in 2000 and worked his way up.

“The beauty of the job is it calls upon the mathematical training I had in university in being able to put some of that to test, but you learn so much about what’s happening in the world. Every day is different, it really keeps your interest, and continues to,” he says.

Starting off as a family office, T Bailey Asset Management broadened its remit to become a fund-of-funds investment boutique. Its first vehicle, the T Bailey Growth fund, launched in 1999, “allowing others to easily share in what we do”, says Mr Farley.

According to Mr Askew, in the post-RDR world the market has become more polarised, with consolidation in the industry and a greater focus on areas such as discretionary management and passive solutions making categorisation a little easier.

“The industry post-RDR has evolved and it’s becoming more outcome-focused. That’s got to be a good thing for the actual investor,” he says.

Mr Farley adds: “We’ve got products that really suit trying to deliver those outcomes to those investors. We run a global equity portfolio and a multi-asset diversified portfolio, which both have our best thinking in. And all investors – through from the family behind T Bailey, ourselves as managers, staff at T Bailey alongside advisers and direct investors – are sharing in the same pot of investments, so the alignment of interests is very strong.”

But with more firms adopting this approach, what sets the firm apart?

Mr Askew points out that in the investment industry, many big asset managers are rewarded for asset growth. If performance is bad for a year but assets double, the manager will be well paid. “Is that in the interests of investors?” he asks.