Merchant Investors has introduced a discretionary fund management service that enables IFAs to appoint a DFM for their client rather than the client signing an agreement with the DFM.
The Accel service can be accessed through Merchant Investors’ wrapper products. It combines asset allocation with fund selection to create a range of model portfolios, based on different attitudes to risk, that are managed by a DFM.
Merchant Investors says the service differs from other DFM services in that the legal structure enables advisers to agree mandates, benchmarks and pricing for each portfolio with the DFM while the DFM takes full responsibility for all asset allocation decisions. The firm believes this will address the issue of advisers wanting to reduce the regulatory risks they face on asset allocation and fund selection without relinquishing control of the funds they have under their advice.
Merchant Investors will provide admin for the portfolios, which it believes will simplify the process and enable the DFM to provide better terms.
Head of sales and marketing Herman Sandrock says: “The crucial bit about this service is the point of accountability. Some IFAs use DFM blindly but this service gives them the opportunity to remain at the centre.
“In relation to who is providing the advice on fund selection and asset allocation, IFAs fully defer to the DFM or do it themselves. This service gives them control without straying in to areas in which they are not qualified.”