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Stoakley says boutiques face challenge

Schroders managing director of UK retail Robin Stoakley believes fund boutiques will have a fight on their hands to keep up with bigger competitors due to the current market conditions.

Stoakley says boutiques have done well to establish themselves and attract managers from bigger firms to run mainstream offerings but difficult markets have led to a growing demand for niche and innovative products.

He says: “If you look at Schroder agriculture and the income maximiser and the likes of BlackRock UK absolute alpha, you can see that some of the bigger fund firms are responding to this demand by using deep resources to produce attractive and innovative offerings. This is something that the boutiques will find hard to duplicate.”

Stoakley was speaking in response to a recent Hargreaves Lansdown list of the top 10 firms its clients would invest with, which included a number of boutique firms, with Schroders an absentee.

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Ben Yearsley says: “Schroders do have deep pockets to do things such as commodities and agriculture but maybe where they lose out to boutiques is their speed to market.”

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