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Brunel fails to bridge the gap

Falcon admits that inflows into its Brunel fund of funds range have been well short of target.

The Brunel funds, launched last March and managed by Premier Asset Management, aimed to have £20m invested by February but have so far only achieved £4.5m. Head of investment solutions Tim Collyer says: “Falcon values its advisers’ independence so it positioned Brunel in direct competition with all other multi-manager offerings. We did not seek to provide a financial incentive for advisers and that may have backfired.”

Collyer says the Brunel funds are only one part of broader plans to increase funds under management and says launching a new product in such difficult times was unfortunate.

He says: “This does not stack up for us at this time. Conditions for Brunel will be considerably scrutinised under the current investment strategy.”

Collyer adds that it is too soon to judge the performance of Premier, whose contract can be reviewed based on results.

Premier managing director of sales and marketing Simon Weldon says: “Co-manager of the funds David Hambidge had a bad six months last year, mainly due to the fund’s income bias. I think it is a combination of market conditions, the income bias and the funds not reaching critical mass. Also, Falcon has not controlled the distribution, it gives the advisers free rein.”

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