It’s all about investment returns!

That is why we developed Generation Charity Consultancy’s – Central Investment Proposition

Our Methodology.

As an independent financial adviser, we need to decide how to invest our clients’ money, whether in pension, ISA, or other investments, and how we ensure their portfolio is performing to the best of its ability. This decision will also be based upon whether to manage funds in-house, or to outsource to an organisation with specialist expertise and substantial resource.

In 2008 our Investment Director, Shai Patel, following substantial research and due diligence, concluded that employing the services of Discretionary Fund Managers (DFM) who could provide clients with excellent portfolio and risk management, was the best outcome for clients.

The principle was built around four key pillars of our Central Investment Proposition and we remain today, still passionate about these core deliverables:

  • Bespoke Active Discretionary Fund Management.
  • Active Asset Allocation.
  • Active Risk Management.
  • Selecting Only ‘Best of Breed’ in Discretionary Fund Management.

By adhering to these principles, our aim is to identify the top performing risk adjusted performing managers, ultimately helping to reduce investment risk and provide a superior investment experience for our clients.

During the process of selecting a Discretionary Fund Manager, Shai was surprised by the breadth of inconsistencies of many managers, whether through the lack of performance, service standards or risk management, making selection of the right investment manager an extremely difficult job. Furthermore, the lack of performance transparency in the sector made it virtually impossible to assess how well your money was being managed and making your investment manager accountable for any lack of performance.

He had clearly identified an issue in the sector. Over the following years Shai developed, in partnership with a leading firm of investment analysts, a new and extraordinary way of selecting and consistently reviewing Discretionary Fund Managers and our clients’ portfolios.

Why Use Discretionary Fund Managers?

Our selected fund managers have significant resource for market, fund, and stock research, generally with a dedicated analyst in each asset sector. This enables greater due diligence to help minimise risk, identify buying opportunities and optimise returns.

They fully understand worldwide market data, helping to construct portfolios based on macro and micro-economics.

They add value by targeting themes, delivering economies of scale, reduce cost by accessing cheaper institutional investment and direct equities.

Active management on a discretionary basis will help reduce asset allocation “drift” and this will ensure clients’ portfolios remain within risk parameters.

How Do We Select A Discretionary Fund Manager?

Clearly, we needed a method of selection and regular review of not only the fund managers, but of each client’s portfolio to ensure the fund manager was still performing as expected.

We were therefore very proud that Shai’s vision became the core of our investment proposition.

There are over 200 Discretionary Fund Managers in the UK, investing for hundreds of thousands of clients, so ensuring we select the best company and the best manager within that company is challenging. For example, not all fund managers are good in all risk categories; not all offer a truly bespoke service, and of course, some of them just offer poor performance.

Bear in mind, just because a portfolio has increased in value, does not mean it is performing well. Even a poorly constructed and managed portfolio will increase in value in rising stock markets. The true test of performance is the ability to see how it fared against its competitors. Has your manager achieved a better risk adjusted return than his competition; have they given you a better return, but taken less risk; or have they taken greater risk but achieved a higher return?

To answer these questions, we are proud to have developed a sophisticated fund review service which compares fund managers on a peer-to-peer basis, allowing us to identify ‘quarterly’ who the best managers are.

The process of selection starts with comparing data from the wide selection of Discretionary Fund Managers, to ensure that we only select those that offer consistent above average performance and thorough risk management. We undertake this review every quarter to ensure our panel (which we call ‘The Matrix’) is up-to-date. It is from this selection we recommend the appropriate DFM to you, based on size of fund and the risk you are willing to accept.

Once You Are A Client It Doesn’t Stop There!

Reviewing your portfolio is crucial, so we continue with the same high level of governance as we did when selecting the DFM.

Every three months our review service compares data from over 250,000 live client portfolios to your own portfolio. We call this a ‘Peer-to-Peer Report’ and it allows us to see if your portfolio is a top performer when compared to other portfolios in a similar risk category.

This means we can quickly react to any under-performance, identify any negative trend, and take appropriate action, including moving fund manager if necessary.

Effectively, our job is to ‘police’ the Discretionary Fund Managers for the benefits of our clients, clearly taking active portfolio management to another level.

We are confident we are one of only a handful of Independent Financial Advisers in the UK offering this method and level of governance.

Why Generation Charity Consultancy?

We are of course aware that you are going to look carefully at a number of advisers and that’s why we have invested substantial time and money in developing a sophisticated approach to investment governance, thus providing a very different proposition to many competitors. Hopefully, the above detail will give you confidence in our ability and encourage you to talk to us about your own investment requirements.

Important Caveat

Of course, we will not recommend Discretionary Fund Managers to all investment clients as this route may not prove suitable, so we will undertake an initial audit of your financial position to decide what type of service and product is right for you. Please be assured we follow high levels of due diligence for all services we provide.

Please talk to us about how we can improve your investment outcome.

We have demonstrated cost savings and increased investment governance in the following cases;

Training Charity with a defensive outlook

A Training Charity with a £30m portfolio was with a fund manager known for their defensive outlook – paying a 1% annual management fee.

Generation Charity Consultancy assessed the charity to have a balanced risk outlook due to the long-term nature of their investments. We sourced a correctly aligned fund manager with an entry fee of 0.3% p.a. – with our cost included a total of 0.36% p.a.  A saving of 0.64% p.a.

Grant giving charity with a multi asset fund

A £26m charity invested all its funds in one Multi-Asset fund charging 0.65%p.a. – the Generation Charity Consultancy arranged a new solution of just 0.36%p.a. including our fees.

Animal Charity non-ESG fund solution

An Animal Charity invested  £10m in a 1%p.a. non-ESG fund solution without animal testing screening applied.

Generation Charity Consultancy found a suitable solution offering 0.5%p.a. with full ESG process and additional screening requirements on a bespoke mandate.

Outcome

We know what you should receive from an adviser, but this service is a rare beast.

At Generation Charity Consultancy we are passionate about reducing fees, ensuring excellent investment performance and delivering robust risk management.

Faith, ESG, Ethical, Sustainable – it’s a confusing world!

Investing ethically can be extremely complicated for clients to appreciate. What is considered ethical or sustainable to one person might not be to another. Understanding the impact of ESG can be even more challenging and even the fund managers have different approaches to the same theme.

There is significant disparity between how fund managers approach this subject, that’s why taking professional and impartial advice (not solely from the fund manager) is crucial.

Faith concerns needn’t be a worry

Generation Charity Consultancy recently spoke to a church charity which had £7m invested in a fund launched over 10 years ago, specifically to follow the ethos of their faith.

However, since launch the fund had grown into a large multi-asset portfolio with over 33% invested through other manager funds.

The Trustees however didn’t appreciate that the external funds being used were not being managed with regards to their faith and ethical restrictions. In fact it was invested in Stocks that were specifically ‘excluded’ from their Statement of Investment Principles.

The charity moved to a bespoke Discretionary Fund Manager* which followed the charities investment wishes to the letter.

Only deep analytic research can identify the underlying assets.

Outcome

Our service ensures all mandates remain aligned to the charity’s requirements around faith, ethics or ESG.

* click here for further information on our Central Investment Proposition

At Generation Charity Consultancy we ardently believe it is crucial that your adviser is Regulated by the FCA and that your adviser and fund manager are not working in the same company. We believe that someone should be policing the fund manager and we are therefore passionate about independent governance!

Trustee duties – mitigating the risk

A large regional solicitor approached Generation Charity Consultancy having spent nearly 2 years trying to find a credible regulated service to refer charity clients to.

They found that ‘unregulated’ consultants were arranging “Beauty Parades” but were not able to give specific advice or recommend a solution, which as a result, and in their opinion, did not mitigate trustee duties & risk.  The regulated services they researched were either not independent or had an excessive charging structure.

We provided the solicitors with an independent service, designed to allow trustees to fully discharge their investment liabilities and responsibilities.

Unfortunately, the financial consultancy profession is rife with unregulated advisers, and although trustees may feel they have discharged their liabilities, they are not always truly researching the whole of market and may not be obtaining the best manager for their charity.

We believe that changes need to be made to the investment advice offered to charity’s and that current, mainly unregulated advice, is a travesty.

Rant over!

In many cases Generation Charity Consultancy can substantially reduce fund manager fees, often by as much as half.

Fund manager fees –  how to reduce fees, improve performance and manage risk

The price of standard ‘off the shelf’ charity funds are competitive, but the Annual Management Charge is generally between 0.5% and 1.00%, regardless of the investment amount.

A majority will also have low minimum investments in the region of £1000-£5000 which provides access for all sizes of charity.

However, charities with larger long-term investments in ‘common investment funds’ do not normally have the opportunity to negotiate these charges, or have their own bespoke portfolios aligned to their investment wishes.

Here are some examples of cost savings:

A charity with over £5m should be able to negotiate – with Generation Charity Consultancy’s involvement – less than the standard fees and have access to specific portfolio managers and bespoke portfolio investment.

We were recently contacted by a charity with circa £30m invested in a Common Investment Fund. Our experts were able to secure an Annual Management Charge of 0.28% – including our fees – compared to their existing arrangement at 0.65%. A portfolio cost saving of circa £111,000 per year.

Due to our influence in the fund manager sector, we negotiated an annual fee of 0.4% for a charity with £2.5m to invest.

At Generation Charity Consultancy we are passionate about reducing fees, ensuring excellent investment performance and delivering robust risk management.

Outcome

With improved performance management, lower fees and enhanced risk management, clients can be assured of marked improvement in fund values.