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Art of the multi-manager

Henderson Global Investors

After the recent chopping and changing in the world of multi-manager investment, John Husselbee and his team are one of the few high-profile outfits which can boast more than a few months&#39 track rec-ord at the same firm.

Relative to its peers, the team&#39s performance has been solid and, with five independent funds of funds, Hend-erson also offers the most choice. Husselbee believes that Henderson will continue to stand out in the marketplace for its greater innovation and established reputation.

Lead manager: John Husselbee

Products: Three portfolio management services – unit trust management, investment trust management and select portfolio management. Also five independent fund of funds – distribution portfolio, income portfolio, balanced portfolio, growth portfolio and international portfolio

Minimum Investment: Unit and investment trust portfolio management services – £25,000. Select portfolio service – £75,000. Independent portfolios – £5,000

Charges: Portfolio management services – annual charge 1.25 per cent plus VAT, Initial 4 per cent plus VAT or 3.5 per cent for investments of more than £75,000. Independent funds – choice of 5.25 per cent initial with annual charge of 1.25 per cent or no initial charge with annual charge of 1.5 per cent and exit fees for first three years.

Commission: 3 per cent initial, 0.5 per cent trail

IFAs say: Bates Investment head of res-earch James Dalby says: “I think Henderson has got the best profile bec-ause John Husselbee has been around quite a long time. Husselbee is a good manager but time will tell who is really good now that the market is hotting up.”

Lazard Fund Managers

Until March this year, Laz-ards&#39 multi-manager operations were run by John Chatfeild-Roberts and his team, who had quickly built a reputation as one of the best teams of funds of funds managers in the industry.

Since Chatfeild-Roberts and his team were poached by Jupiter, the outfit has been run by an unknown – Kieron Launder.

While many IFAs have waited to see whether Laun-der can live up to Chatfeild-Roberts&#39 record, a fair amount of funds are reported to have followed the old team to Jupiter.

Lead manager: Kieron Launder

Products: Personal portfolio service offering four model portfolios – monthly distribution, income & growth, capital growth and international. Three independent funds of funds – growth portfolio, income portfolio and worldwide portfolio trusts

Minimum Investment: Personal portfolio service – £20,000. Independent funds – £2,000

Charges: Personal portfolio service – annual 1.5 per cent plus VAT or 1 per cent for investments over £250,000. Initial 4 per cent. Indep-endent funds – annual 1.25 per cent, initial 3.75 per cent

Commission: Initial 3 per cent, annual 0.5 per cent on all products

IFAs say: Alan Steel Asset Management consultant Alan Adam says: “They are not setting the heather on fire but they are reasonable stockpickers.”

Premier Asset Mangement

Although only a small outfit, Premier has proved very popular with its IFA clients. While many comment first on customer service and presentation as a strength, performance has also been solid.

Joint managing director Jonathan Fry says one of Premier&#39s strengths is that its multi-manager team does not invest in Premier&#39s own funds and can boast true independence. Although it may find it hard to compete with the bigger names such as Jupiter and Credit Suisse, which have all run high-profile ad campaigns for their services, Premier looks to be one to watch.

Lead managers: David Hambidge, Peter Metcalf, Greg Mahon, Alex Clay

Products: C~lect portfolio management service offering four investment strategies – balanced, growth, cautious or enterprise. X~cel portfolio management service for high-net-worth clients. Four independent funds of funds – cautious selector, selector growth, selector income, and enterprise.

Minimum Investment: C~lect service, £20,000. X~cel service £150,000. Fund of funds – £1,000.

Charges: C~lect portfolio service – initial charge 5.25 per cent (from November 1), annual charge 1.5 per cent. X~cel portfolio service – annual up to 1.5 per cent, no initial. Fund of funds – initial 5.25 per cent (from November 1), annual 1.5 per cent

Commission: C~lect and X~cel portfolio services – initial 4 per cent, with 0.75 per cent trail. Fund of funds – initial 3 per cent, annual 0.5 per cent

IFAs say: Alan Steel Asset

Management director Graeme Currie says: “I think they are a very progressive little company. They are small enough to make changes and I have found them very helpful.”

Credit Suisse Management

Credit Suisse made clear their intentions to move into the multi-manager market when they took on the high-profile team of Robert Burdett, Gary Potter and Kelly Prior from Rothschild Asset Management. At RAM, the team were responsible for over £1bn in funds under management.

The Credit Suisse private portfolio service was set up in July and invests in nine Credit Suisse multi-manager sub-funds. Its new fund of boutique investment house funds, Constellation, has been well received by IFAs.

Lead managers: Robert Burdett, Gary Potter and Kelly Prior

Products: The Credit Suisse private portfolio service offers four investment strategies from a range of fund of funds – income, UK growth, income and growth and worldwide growth. CSAM also offers three independent fund of funds – balanced strategic portfolio, UK strategic growth portfolio, Constellation

Minimum investment: Portfolio management service – £10,000. Fund of funds – £1,000

Charges: 4 per cent falling to 3.5 per cent for sums over £50,000. Annual management fee 1.5 per cent

Commission: 3 per cent initial and 0.5 per cent renewal

IFAs say: Chase de Vere investment adviser Nikki Foster says: “We are relatively excited about the Credit Suisse multi-manager operation. We like multi-managed funds and with the team of Burdett and Potter at the helm, recommending them to a client takes the pressure off advisers, as you can relax. We recommended them when they were at Rothschild and we are look ing closely at Credit Suisse where they are following the same management strategy.”

Rothschild Asset Management

The Rothschild team of Bambos Hambi and Marcus Brooks both came from Friends Ivory & Sime in February to replace Robert Burdett and Gary Potter when they moved on to Credit Suisse.

Since their arrival, RAM has rebranded what was the Five Arrows private portfolio service as The Five Arrows wealth management service.

Clients get an actively managed, diversified and independent multi-manager portfolio of investment funds comprising asset allocation, fund selection and portfolio construction.

Lead managers: Bambos Hambi and Marcus Brooks

Products: The Five Arrows wealth management service offers a choice of five investment strategies – income, UK capital growth, European capital growth, emerging markets capital growth and balanced income and growth. Three independent fund of funds – Five Arrows independent growth fund, Five Arrows independent income fund and Five Arrows independent technology fund

Minimum investment: Wealth management service – £10,000. Fund of funds – £1,000

Charges: Wealth management service – initial 4 per cent, dropping to 3.5 per cent over £50,000, annual 1.5 per cent. Fund of funds – initial 5 per cent or 3 per cent in Isa wrapper, annual 1.5 per cent

Commission: 3 per cent, annual 0.5 per cent

IFAs say: Michael Philips proprietor Michael Both says: “We&#39ve used the Rothschild offering and been fairly happy. The performance has never been the world&#39s most exciting but we see that as a plus. They are a middle-risk, middle of the road investment. The performance has been adequate and reporting has been very well received by clients. The jury is still out on the staff changes but clients like the new web strategy where they can look at their own funds online.”

Jupiter

The Jupiter multi-manager operation was set up in May, with John Chatfeild-Roberts brought in to head the team that also includes Peter Lawery and Algy Smith-Maxwell. The team came from Lazards, where they had run funds of funds since 1996.

The funds will each consist of 15-20 different unit trusts. Chatfeild-Roberts says the investment strategy of the service is to offer sufficient risk diversification without over-diversification to avoid creating an expensive index tracker.

Lead manager: John Chatfeild-Roberts

Products: The Jupiter portfolio service offers three standardised fund of fund unit trusts, the Jupiter growth portfolio trust, the Jupiter income portfolio trust and the Jupiter worldwide portfolio trust

Minimum investment: £10,000 lump sum or £100 a month for unit-trust investments, £1,000 lump sum or £50 a month for Isa.

Charges: 5.5 per cent initial, 1.5 per cent annual.

Commission: 3 per cent initial, 0.5 per cent trail.

IFAs say: Chase de Vere investor services manager Anna Bowes says: “John Chatfeild-Roberts had a good track record when he was at Lazards, so this is one of the multi-managers that we recommend.”

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