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Product matters

Skandia Investment Man-agement is aiming to be at the top of the tree for IFAs seeking multi-manager solutions and, with the increasing amount of competition in this sector, it needs to demonstrate an edge to win IFA business.

SIM&#39s actively managed funds proposition is built on seven key principles, all of which are important but three of which I think are key differentiators to what is available from most of the competition.

First, it adopts the hybrid approach to multi-manager by giving mandates to managers and investing in other managers&#39 funds. It has taken the decision not to box itself into one method of investing which makes sense as it increases flexibility. In contrast, most other propositions are either fund of funds or fund of managers.

Second, its manager research team numbers 25 full-time investment professionals. Most multi-manager teams are a fraction of this in size and, because of the sheer number of managers and funds to look at, I think Skandia is better positioned than most.

Third, the pricing of the funds is extremely competitive, with true annual total expense ratios ranging from 1.8-1.95 per cent. Essentially, this means Skandia is delivering multi-manager benefits at single-manager prices, which is quite an achievement for a provider that is still often falsely described as expensive.

The funds can be accessed through the full range of Skandia&#39s product wrappers. This allows IFAs to simultaneously meet the financial planning needs of specific clients while also harnessing the true benefits of Skandia&#39s actively managed funds.

James Dalby is head of investments at Bates Investment Services

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