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ISIS takes AiM

Discussing the main useful features and strong points of the Oeic

Clayson points out the high growth potential and diversification,

which includes healthcare, mining and software from new

companies. Rogers highlights the innovation and clarity of vision.

Vaughan says: "The useful features are the ability to invest

from £1,000 as a single premium and from £50 a month for regular

premiums. The fund is also available via Isas. The strong points are

the two fund managers Bill Brown and Robert Mitchell who have a

wealth of experience and a good track record."

Croft says: "The withdrawal facility provides easy access to

total return, at this stage only a minor benefit but with falling yields

some clients will need to resort to capital accruals."

Discussing the investment strategy of the Oeic Vaughan says:

"Despite the falls in technology stocks and risks

associated with smaller companies there is still a belief that the

future and with it, true growth potential lies, with the type of

companies listed on the London stock exchanges Aim market. A

good fund manager (or two) could exploit this opportunity in the

longer term."

Clayson says: "High risk with high-growth potential. If you

can stand the risk of some holdings disappearing, then investing in

well researched new ventures provides high-profit potential for the

long term."

Croft says: "There is not much to pick and choose

between this and the competition. We all know that much will depend

not on the stated objective but how the manager interprets and

implements it."

Rogers says: "Recent events may prove their strategy to

be misplaced. The market is so unpredictable that even good

opportunities may be passed up, which is the basis of the fund


Turning to the funds disadvantages Croft says: "Short of a

performance record there is little here to hang a hat on. Even the lead

managers are only named in faint and small print on front of the fact

sheet and the potted biographies don’t add


Drawbacks Rogers identifies include slightly high charges both up

front and ongoing, there is no explanation in the literature as to why

and this could be confusing to some.

Vaughan says: "Due to the higher risk nature of the

investments the attraction is limited to the more adventurous

investors. There is scope to invest in larger companies and those

listed on the TechMARK index and hopefully this will not lead to just

another high tech investment."

Clayson says: "There is a high risk that some or all of the

underlying investment could lose value dramatically. Volatility will be

an inevitable problem."

The panel speak favourably of Friends Ivory &

Sime’s reputation Clayson describes it as "top

drawer". Rogers thinks it’s good within its

specialist sectors.

Croft says: "Friends has a reputation for ethical

investment. Ivory & Sime’s is a bit more patchy,

they were let down by poor administration but that is not


Vaughan says: "Friends Provident and Ivory &

Sime both have good past reputations. Friends Provident is

experiencing many problems at present and it is hoped that these do

not deter from the formation of the new ISIS brand. It is perhaps

appropriate that the Friends has been dropped."

Looking at Friends Ivory & Sime’s investment

past performance the panel are in agreement that it is good. Croft

says: "Very fair but it is not clear how much of this is due to

fund managers who have moved on."

Discussing what will be the main competition the panel mentions

funds from Artemis, Threadneedle, Investec, Aberdeen, Credit

Suisse, BWD, Liontrust and Exeter.

Assessing whether the charges are fair and reasonable most of the

panel agree they are competitive and in line with similar funds.

Rogers thinks they are too high.


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