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Credit Suisse gets adventurous


Trans-Adventure Isa

Type: Oeic maxi Isa.

Aim: Growth by investing in global post venture capital fund and transatlantic fund.

Minimum investment: Lump sum £3,000.

Maximum investment: £7,000.

Catmarked: No.

Investment choice: Global post venture capital fund 50 per cent, transatlantic fund 50 per cent.

Charges: Initial 5.25 per cent, annual 1.5 per cent.

Special offer: Initial charge reduced to 3.25 per cent for lump sum investments.

Offer period: Until April 5, 2001.

Commission: Initial 3 per cent, renewal 0.5 per cent.

Tel: 020 7426 2626.

Suitability to market 5.5

Investment strategy 6.8

Past Performance 7.3

Company’s reputation 7.5

Charges 6.3

Commission 6.3

Product literature 7.0

David Cowell, Investment Manager, Andrews Gwynne & Associates, Michael Gilbey, Managing Director, Atlantean Financial Management, Steven Crowe, Managing Director, Bowland Financial Management, Nigel Chapman, Fund Manager, James Brearley & Sons.

Credit Suisse has introduced the trans-adventure individual savings account (Isa), an open-ended maxi Isa that invests in the Credit Suisse global post venture capital fund and the Credit Suisse transatlantic fund.

The panel has mixed feelings about how well the product fits into the market. Chapman is alone when he says: "For clients wishing to diversify their Isa investment, this product should fit well into the market."

However Gilbey says: "This Isa is either a brave bold endorsement of the American market and the global post venture capital market or it is a dead duck for this Isa season. Beyond the marketing hype it is hard to see what is so special about this Isa. I can only see a product that pairs one of my favourite North American funds with a relative newcomer."

Crowe does not think that the Isa fits particularly well into the market, while Cowell says: "The introduction of this Isa is unfortunate given the current state of the market. I cannot see many people buying it direct and it is unlikely that advisory brokers will pick overseas equity funds at the moment."

Looking at the type of client that the product is suitable for, Gilbey says: "This ISA is most suitable for a client with a moderately high or adventurous risk profile and particularly one looking to diversify a portfolio with a minimum of effort and change. With the development of fund supermarkets this product, in its standard form, is probably for the lazy client and those who prefer ad hoc purchases to portfolio management."

Crowe says: "This is for moderately high-risk orientated investors who are already utilising their capital gains tax allowance elsewhere."

Cowell says: "The product is suitable for someone wishing to add to their US exposure in a tax shelter whilst taking higher investment risks." Chapman adds: "I think that this is for an experienced client who has funded Peps and Isas over the years and who wishes to spread their investment. It would probably be a high net worth client."

Turning to the type of marketing opportunities that the product provides, the panel is negative. Crowe and Chapman feel that none are immediately apparent. Cowell says: "As an Isa, there are little opportunities, although the two funds are both worth consideration on their own merits."


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