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New year, new look for Lawrence House

The Lawrence House balanced managed fund is one of three Oeic funds of funds established by Lawrence House Fund Managers, formerly Pharon Investment Management.

The fund aims for growth by investing globally in a portfolio of collective investment funds. The fund will invest primarily in equities with some exposure to fixed interest.

Lawrence House head of multi-manager Alan Stokes will manage the fund and he will be supported by the company’s managing director, Mike Sargeant.
Stokes was previously senior fund manager and head of multi-manager funds at Solus Fund Managers before joining the Pharon Group in June 2004. He has 35 years’ investment experience, having worked for several companies including Hoare Govett and founded a unit trust research company in 1996.

When selecting funds from an initial universe of 2,500, Stokes and Sargeant will use both quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative methods are used to screen the fund universe to see which ones have the characteristics they are looking for but past

performance is not a high priority. Stokes and Sargeant focus on funds which look likely to perform in the future, which does not necessarily mean they have performed well in the past.

The quantitative approach is backed up by qualitative research methods, which involve face to face meetings to find out why the fund managers are investing in particular assets and regions. Examples of current holdings include the Baring Asset Management directional bond, Smith & Williamson American and Rensburg UK select funds.

Despite the high equity content, this fund occupies the lower risk end of the fund of funds market so may not be suitable for investors who are looking for aggressive growth. Also, as a new entrant to the market, it may need to notch up a track record to attract the IFA market it is aiming for.

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