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A word to the Wise on Fof performance

IFA firm Wise Investment is planning an income fund of funds this year but anticipates difficulties in marketing it to other IFAs because of a general bias towards big-brand names.

Although the company has managed private portfolios and broker funds for 15 years, it lacks name awareness among IFAs because it has no track record in Oeics and unit trusts.

It is trying to establish itself as a boutique fund manager, having launched two Oeic funds of funds last April.

Wise Investment partner Tony Yarrow believes that many IFAs are scared to switch from bigger fund of fund providers to small, lesser-known managers, which could mean that clients miss out on superior performance.

Advisers may associate bigger players with greater security if things go wrong but Yarrow points out that they do not necessarily run the best-performing funds. He claims Wise fared better during the lean years on the stockmarket than some bigger groups.

Yarrow says: “When markets are bad, investors get disillusioned with the big names and are prepared to look at what a manager is doing rather than who they are.

“With the IFA market, you have got to have a certain amount of market profile and we need to build that. We have made appointments to see IFAs but very little comes out of it. We show them our performance charts and ask if they have clients who would be interested in our funds. They say yes – then nothing happens. They bottle it when the time comes.”

Boutique fund of fund managers Miton and T Bailey are building name awareness among the IFA market and Yarrow believes thnat their success will make it easier for Wise Investment to break through.

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