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A distilled blend from Skandia

Skandia Investment Management

UK Equity Blend Fund

Type: Multi-manager Oeic

Aim: Growth and income by investing in UK equity investment funds and segregated mandates

Minimum investment: Lump sum 1,000, monthly 50

Investment split: 17% Gartmore segregated mandate, 19% UBS segregated mandate, 19% Lazard segregated mandate, 19% Martin Currie segregated mandate, 18% Artemis UK growth fund, 8% Schroder UK alpha plus fund

Isa link: Yes

Pep transfers: Yes

Charges: Initial 5%, annual 1.5%

Commission: Initial 3.5%, renewal 0.5%

Tel: 020 7220 3531

Skandia Investment Managements UK equity blend fund is one of seven funds of funds in the asset allocator range.

Barry Laymond Financial Services certified financial planner Barry Laymond points out that the UK blend fund, along with the other funds in the range, enables IFAs to spend time focusing on clients financial affairs instead of constructing a portfolio after working out a suitable asset allocation, then selecting funds.

He says: “The client benefits from a more active management of the investment as Skandia will monitor the funds and change them as and when needed.”

In Laymonds view, the funds provide enough asset classes to satisfy most investors. He thinks the UK equity blend funds portfolio appears to have been well thought out to avoid duplication of the underlying holdings used by each investment house selected.

Skandia scores well with Laymond in relation to its product literature. Laymond feels this is excellent. He likes the easy to complete application form and useful adviser fund range guide. He adds: “Congratulations to Skandia for making a complex subject clear enough for the IFA and client to understand.”

Switching his attention to the potential drawbacks of the fund, Laymond says: “For those IFAs who have already invested in technology to provide custom asset allocation based on individual risk profiles of a client, and who also have a robust process for selection and marketing fund, this does not offer any advantage. In fact the IFA may well be able to outperform Skandia Investment Management.”

Laymond is not convinced that having just one fund manager, Alan Durrant, for all seven portfolios is acceptable. He says: “However competent Durrant is, I would be concerned about his ability to stay focused and totally in control. I personally would have preferred to see the range split between at least three managers.”

Laymond expects competition to come from Credit Suisses multi-manager range, the New Star funds run by Mark Harris and the Selestia range of funds.
In conclusion Laymond says: “What a pity this superb range was not launched to provide comprehensive asset allocation across all seven funds for, say, cautious, balanced and balanced/adventurous investors. This would cut out the need for the IFA and client to decide a percentage to use for each fund.

BROKER RATINGS

Suitability to market: Good
Investment strategy: Good
Charges: Average
Adviser remuneration: Average

Overall 8/10

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