City Financial to launch Adviser Centre DFM service

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City Financial will launch a discretionary fund management service later this year as an “extension” of its independent fund research tool The Adviser Centre.

The DFM service will adopt the Adviser Centre name and will have an “average” charge of 25 basis points.

Adviser Centre architect and City Financial investment director Peter Toogood says: “People are approaching us to make an extension of The Adviser Centre into running a model of money.”

The Adviser Centre, which is a web-based fund research tool aimed primarily at financial advisers, issues fund recommendations and a “positive watch” fund list.

The tool was launched by Toogood and Gill Hutchison for City Financial in April 2014 after both left Morningstar OBSR in June 2013.

Toogood adds: “We are currently pursuing a variety of different options with partners to deliver the DFM service. Our confidence in entering this area is based upon our previous experience at both Morningstar OBSR and OBSR.

“If we create a new space in the next three to six months it’d be to go into a simpler long traditional risk model we did previously with all our clients.”

The DFM, he says, would be “a logical extension” of the Adviser Centre’s previous work. “We are not just launching ‘a DFM’, it is a natural extension of the Adviser Centre.”

Toogood says City Financial has enough scale to build the new service as the firm already runs funds, including its multi-asset team, which manages £400m in assets.

The new service will use City Financial’s existing relationships with the Nucleus and Standard Life platforms to aid distribution.

“We are already on platforms as we are connected up in terms of being a fund manager. To connect the pipe into a DFM is relatively simple because we have already got the structure in place. That’s not particularly challenging.”

City Financial is also planning to add “a retirement piece” to The Adviser Centre by the end of the summer, which will include a pre- and post-retirement planning tool.

In addition, the company is looking to expand its multi-asset fund, and is currently in “active discussions” with financial institutions that are looking to sell their multi-asset portfolios, Toogood says.

City Financial’s most recent purchase for the multi-asset division was the Iveagh fund range in June 2014.