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Why network ASHL is launching its own investment service

Why network ASHL is launching its own investment service

Adviser Services Holdings (ASHL) has launched its own discretionary investment manager in order to gain control over its investment services, the firm's propositions director has said.

Chris Wilson, a former head of propositions at Caerus, told FTAdviser that a number of senior managers at the firm had a similar experience of an integrated model at their previous employer, Caerus.

ASHL has set up DFM Rockhold Investments, and has further plans to launch its own funds following the purchase of fund manager iFunds Asset Management.

The DFM offering has been designed to "dovetail" with the advice processes and risk framework adopted within the restricted network the Lyncombe network, which ASHL bought alongside the Sense network last year.

Wilson said: “Myself and some of the senior managers have got experience in a similar model... so we wanted to have our own investment solutions where we've got control and influence over the outcomes for customers or advisers.

“There are advisers who like [an integrated] model, where they can rely on the support of the network to provide them with investment solutions and a lot more of the governance and oversight is done centrally rather than the firms having to do that themselves.”

He added this also allowed the firm to personalise its offering. 

“By having our own solutions we can tailor these a bit more to our advisers and align [these] more closely with our own advice proposition.”

Bringing down cost

Rockhold Investments has seen its assets under management increase five-fold since its launch at the start of the year, with current AUM of £170m. 

The Rockhold portfolios have fees ranging from 15bps for passive portfolios to 27.5bps for active, and do not charge VAT.

Wilson added the team wanted to ensure clients were getting value for money.

He said: “I think we’re very conscious of delivering value for money for the customer at the end of the process and providing very competitive solutions that stand up against anything out in the market, so using our scale and leveraging that with partners to try and drive us towards competitive fees.”

Wilson has appointed Alpha Beta Partners, a multi-asset portfolio manager, to offer the managed portfolios under the Rockhold brand. 

The network supports around 400 advisers and has £5bn of assets under management. It said last year, after purchasing Sense, it was targeting a “selective” 500 advisers over the next three to four years.