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Bailey bridge

Multi-manager company T Bailey has just announced a further £3m investment from its original backer as the group looks to expand its assets from £200m to £1bn over the next five years.

The Nottingham boutique was established in 1999 to run money for the Forman Hardy family, one-time owners of the Nottingham Evening Post, after they became disillusioned with traditional private-client stockbrokers.

In essence, they required performance and service and the business remains 100 per cent owned by Foreman Hardy Holdings.

This insulates the firm from the usual volatility of the financial services industry and the sole multi-manager focus also means the group avoids issues surrounding holding its own internal funds.

T.Bailey opened its range to the retail market in 2004, introducing a minimum investment of £50 a month.

It will use the additional £3m to broaden the range and develop the third-party admin offering, with plans to expand the sales team and build closer relationships with advisers.

The group stresses that this money is in no way needed to prop up the business and will be used to take things to the next level.

This drive on the sales front is headed by Philippa Gee, former strategist at Torquil Clark, who also runs communications and marketing at the firm.

She is recruiting three further salespeople, adding to the current 39 staff, and is also working on bringing charges down across the range.

Cost is typically one of the main issues with multi-managers – with charges on the fund itself and the underlying holdings – and T Bailey has been looking to cut total expense ratios across the board.

Meanwhile, as part of a strategic review, CIO Richard Martin is retiring although he will retain an advisory role in the firm. Jason Britton will take on the chief investment officer position, handing over his chief executive responsibilities to interim CEO Peter Letley.

The latter has held a number of senior roles, including CEO and deputy chairman at firms such as HSBC. Yet another key appointment is former Barings CIO Michael Hughes in a non-executive role, who will have input on the investment side.

Much of this reorganisation is to allow Britton to focus on running money rather than the business, particularly as the group looks for a fivefold growth in assets over the next five years.

T Bailey presently has four multi-manager portfolios run by Britton, with support from Elliot Farley.

Growth is the core offering – and by far the biggest at slightly over £140m – with the managers taking a global equity approach, including an aggressive 19 per cent allocation to emerging markets.

The fund includes several well-known portfolios, Britton also uses vehicles such as ETFs to boost returns, meeting new requirements for advisers to use these, as outlined in the RDR.

Elsewhere in the range is the equity income offering, which the group says can provide a solution for clients in a popular sector where high manager turnover forces frequent switching.

The fund offers a blend of vehicles that perform in bull and bear market conditions and also meets the sector’s yield require-ments, recently announcing a distribution of 7 per cent.

Rounding out the range are the cautious managed portfolio and UK best ideas.

As part of the group’s development, further launches are promised although these are still going through the approval process. They are expected to help IFAs with a core offering in an RDR world.

In terms of process, T. Bailey begins with strategic and tactical asset allocation, then moves down into quantitative and qualitative work to determine fund selection.

The group has expanded its investment capacity in recent times, adding analysts Victoria Davies and Mark Wright to strengthen the team.

Gee admits that last year was tough in performance terms for the firm, with multi-manager portfolios suffering from weakness among the majority of underlying holdings.

But they have already started to bounce back, as seen clearly in the flagship growth portfolio, for example.

Just outside the top quartile in the large global growth peer group over three and five years to the start of July, the fund has dropped into the third quartile over the last 12 months.

In the short term, however, Britton has steered the port-folio back into the top quartile over three months.


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