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Big firms lose focus on returns

Having a culture driven around your investment is the key to having a strong boutique offering, according to Thames River Capital investment director Michael Warren.

He said that many larger investment houses tended to lose sight of this. He had worked at companies where the admin department was bigger than the investment department. This meant that people often got dragged into doing things that were not focused on investment performance.

Warren said: “Having a chief investment officer and having a house style are not exactly the best thing for fund managers who want to get their best ideas into their funds, as often they find they don’t fit in with the investment style.”

Parmenion head of investment Simon Brett said it was this lack of a house style that had also enabled some of the larger firms such as Jupiter to retain their boutique status in many people’s eyes.

He said: “So long as the power resides with the fund manager then the investment-led argument can extend to the likes of Jupiter, Martin Currie and Artemis. By contrast, some of the larger firms need that house process to be in place to offer some consistency to clients across their funds.”

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