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I am often sceptical when an established

retail asset management house launches new funds.

After all, there are so many funds in the marketplace, you do have to question whether there is room for any more.

In addition, many of those who launch new funds would do well to concentrate on sharpening up some of their existing funds.

However, I do welcome those fund launches that bring something new to the party.

I feel that, in launching its Private Portfolio Service, Credit Suisse is doing just that.

The proposition is a comprehensive range of fund of funds managed by an established team with a solid track record.

Of course, funds of funds already exist and there are other new launches but, as far as I am aware, no other retail house offers the same wide range.

In the past, I think that the IFA community has often been reluctant to use funds of funds.

My view is that there have traditionally been two key objections.

First, the extra costs associated with a fund investing in other funds.

Second, the fact that IFAs have felt that building a portfolio of different funds is their job.

The cost issue is no longer quite so relevant, as the fund of fund managers can often buy at creation price and pay lower annual management charges.

So although there are extra costs, these will never be double.

In terms of fund selection – how many IFAs could claim to do that job as well as Gary Potter and Robert Burdett?

James Dalby is head of research at Bates Investment


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