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Expat Investor : September 2008
PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT Continued from page 15 Managing Director of the bank’s discretionary investment management service, Edward Upsdell, explains, RBC Wealth Management is committed to personal relationships but also believes that no one person or company can be an expert in all markets at all times. And so, five years ago, the Wealth Management division introduced what it calls an Open Architecture approach to portfolio management – Global Investment Solutions (GIS). “To some, Open Architecture means using a Fund of Funds and spreading assets across 50-60 different managers but the GIS philosophy is to know a fewer number of managers much more intimately. “World-class managers are selected and monitored via a rigorous qualitative process in each of the major asset classes, including alternative investments, and we manage the managers to ensure an optimal portfolio blend for our clients,” says Mr Upsdell. Mr Upsdell stresses that GIS is a service not a product and, as such, clients retain direct access to 16 EXPAT INVESTOR ? their RBC Portfolio Manager who fully understands their needs and requirements. “Our proprietary client discovery tools will ascertain the client’s objectives and risk tolerance and suggest an idealised deliver two key requirements to the client: excellent service and solid performance.” The strength of the offering lies in its adaptability, says the Bank. Depending upon portfolio size and tax requirements, portfolios can be “Depending upon portfolio size and tax requirements, portfolios can be constructed from either funds or segregated models and offered in multiple currencies and the proposition is offered both onshore and offshore. In all cases, RBC retains custody and control of the assets allowing for consolidated performance reporting.” asset allocation that is the starting point for further discussion. Once agreed, the Portfolio Manager will use this information to construct the client’s portfolio using the various building blocks managed by our external advisors. This methodology produces a diversified and yet focused portfolio that allows RBC to September 2008 constructed from either funds or segregated models and offered in multiple currencies and the proposition is offered both onshore and offshore. In all cases, RBC retains custody and control of the assets allowing for consolidated performance reporting. As Royal Bank of Canada (CI) points out, for private clients, expatinvestor.com access to such world class managers and their institutional approach to money management would either be unobtainable or very expensive. The RBC Discretionary Investment Management solution provides this access whilst retaining the benefits of a direct client relationship. A relationship which Mr Upsdell confirms is offered “at a fair cost.” Standard Bank, likewise, describes its portfolio management offering as being “an extremely personal, bespoke and client focused service”. At the heart of this Bank’s approach is the steadfast understanding that asset allocation is the dominant driver of investment returns. Chris Stead is Head of Discretionary Portfolio Management and he confirms his team places “a great deal of emphasis on achieving an asset allocation policy/strategy which best suits a client’s risk profile and investment objective, whether it be capital preservation, provision of income, capital growth or a mixture of all three.” To ensure that the wide variety of client investment objectives are met, every Standard Bank client is allocated a lead Portfolio Manager who has in-depth experience in understanding client’s investment goals and in delivering investment strategies that meet their individual requirements. These range from Absolute Return, Global Income and Global Conservative at the lower end of the risk spectrum to Global Balanced, Global Growth and Global Equity towards the higher end. Continuity of manager and close communication are also viewed as being vital in developing long-term client relationships and are key components to the delivery of successful bespoke wealth management solutions. With an investment philosophy that believes “no one investment manager performs well in all markets or asset types” a multi- manager “best of breed” approach is adopted by Standard Bank’s team of investment mangers towards both equity and hedge fund investment in order to deliver “superior long-term risk adjusted returns.” These ‘best of breed’ funds are open to investors with a minimum of £25,000 and are utilised, where appropriate, in managed portfolios which attract a minimum annual fee of £2,500.
July August 2008