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The best kept secret in wrap

It took me a while to be sold on wrap. I under-stood the benefits of fund supermarkets and had placed business with Skandia and Cofunds but what benefits did a full-blown wrap offer?

About three years ago, we realised we did not have the expertise or resources to manage client portfolios. We look for a discretionary fund manager and opted for Seven Investment Management.

7IM has minimum portfolio sizes and it became apparent that smaller clients needed a way to benefit from its expert-ise. It distils its discretionary management into an Oeic with sub-funds and while discussing this, the subject came up of Tethys, 7IM’s wrap.

It is the best kept wrap secret as 7IM is careful about who gets access. Tethys convinced me of the benefits of wrap. It offers all the reporting options and clients have a website log-in so they can view their holdings and transactions. But for me, the clearest advantage is that it is truly an open architecture solution. Pretty much any Sipp or offshore bond provider can integrate with Tethys. 7IM does not have any wrappers of its own, except an Isa, so Tethys fulfils my brief of keeping the investment part of a financial plan separate from the tax planning side. I can implement clients’ financial plans in a modular fashion, opting for the most suitable tax wrapper, then having the investment organised by 7IM on a discretionary basis or through Tethys.

This makes it easy to identify the costs of the various parts of the portfolio, enabling us to strip out as much cost as possible. The economies of scale mean we can buy institutional units of many funds, bringing down total expense ratios. The 0.25 per cent annual cost of the platform is offset by redirecting fund manager rebates to client portfolios.

Our next step is to white-label Tethys. A contract enquiry feed has been set up with Cofunds, meaning clients with legacy holdings there can view everything through Tethys. We also get to shape the future of Tethys as I am part of the working group. The service from our dedicated support team is superb.

Peter Matthew is director and certified financial planner at Jacksons Financial Services

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