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Investment uncovered: Charles Stanley business development director on exploring a client’s financial world

Tim VennerCharles Stanley business development director Tim Venner outlines the benefits of in-house bespoke investment management

Could you explain how you approach investment management – is it in-house, do you outsource it or combine both?

We approach investment management primarily with an in-house solution for our clients. Our approach is based upon the client’s circumstances and will focus upon their needs and aspirations.

As a wealth manager, it is important to be able to distinguish and understand what the client’s goals are, and to blend an investment solution that will meet their needs.

We see the role of financial planners as to give clients advice on structuring for their short-, medium- and long-term goals, and our investment managers provide investment solutions which are consistent with the risk profile of the client.

We provide a discretionary fund management service and asset management, offering a range of pooled funds and bespoke solutions, including model portfolios. For this, we draw on a wide range of investment services and leading expertise, depending on our clients’ plans. These may be supplied by Charles Stanley, by other investment managers, or a combination of the two.

With our advisory managed service, our clients mandate us to manage their money and to make recommendations on how to achieve their investment goals but the final decision on whether each recommendation is acted on rests with the client.

We offer our advisory clients recommendations on individual investments through an advisory dealing service, as and when they wish to receive them. With this service we do not manage the client portfolio, and the responsibility for its continuing suitability remains with the client.

Finally, for those who prefer more autonomy, we provide an execution-only option and a self-investing online platform, Charles Stanley Direct.

What investment options do your clients have?

We have a suite of investment options that provide our investment managers and financial planners with the flexibility to offer a range of solutions.

We have a robust discretionary fund management proposition that is available to clients where they give us the discretion to manage their money and make decisions on their behalf to achieve their investment goals, requiring us to grow their money, generate a regular income or a provide a combination of both.

Our asset management division runs managed portfolios to meet the needs of a wide variety of clients with different circumstances, offering both a total return and an income approach.

We offer managed portfolios, which are built with investors in mind, and these draw on our in-house research and extensive multi-asset investment expertise. The aim is to provide clients with access to a global perspective and a range of asset classes for a fully diversified portfolio.

For investors with smaller amounts of less than £150,000 to invest, we have a solution called the personal portfolio service. This offers a range of five professionally managed Charles Stanley funds to clients who are looking for a personal investment service, but who may not find it cost-effective to invest in a traditional discretionary managed portfolio.

Other investment options we offer include an IHT Aim Portfolio service, which has outperformed the FTSE All-Share index.

Investment uncovered: Down the blind alley of chasing short-term sector results

How do you select the DFMs and platforms you work with?

If we work with other discretionary fund managers or platforms, we have a products and services committee which provides a due diligence process. The committee will evaluate the robustness, security, service and functionality of our partners.

How do you build model and bespoke portfolios?

We have a combined investment approach. We use a strategic framework that draws on the output of Charles Stanley’s investment strategy committee, comprising a team of senior investment managers and analysts.

We overlay this with dynamic tactical decisions, driven by the ongoing oversight of our model portfolio management team.

In terms of using active and passive funds, we provide the solution that best suits the client’s needs. We think there’s a place for both, depending on the client’s circumstances.

Finally, what are the benefits to clients and to the business of your investment management approach?

We have highly experienced investment managers who work with our financial planners to provide clients with a blended solution. We do not put clients into categories – instead, we take a holistic view. We explore every aspect of a client’s financial world: their ambitions, their concerns, their attitude towards risk and their preferred way of working.

A dedicated investment manager will put together a portfolio designed and managed entirely around our clients, focusing on their interests, making sense of complex markets, managing risk and protecting and growing their investments.

They will also draw on the capabilities of our in-house research team, which has expertise in equities, fixed income and collective investments such as unit trusts and Oeics.

We also have a court of protection team which has an established track record in both investment management and administration. It is also able to draw on the substantial resources of Charles Stanley in a wide variety of areas, including research, pensions and financial planning.

Company factfile

Date company established: 1792
Assets under management: £24.1bn
No. of staff: 850
No. of clients: 129,000 including Charles Stanley Direct
Platforms used: Fewer than 10
DFMs used: N/A

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