But how we access those today would come as a big surprise, with Britain no longer building the ships or manufacturing the goods on which so many countries depended and is no longer the economic powerhouse it once was. Today the investment opportunities and economic powerhouses are found globally, accessed via tech-enabled companies like Amazon, Apple and Samsung and in US, Chinese and emerging market based companies.
Rapidly changing times make it all the more important that we keep our investment proposition in tune with where the opportunities and investment returns are – and will be in future. Over the last few months we have been refocusing our proposition to make sure we stay up to speed with the changing world and are not left behind. Under Head of Research Robert Merrifield’s guidance we’ve pooled the knowledge, experience and skills of our investment managers around the country and our central research team to adopt a more cohesive approach to how we invest clients’ money in each of our offices.
Our long-established philosophy that investment managers should be actively involved at all levels of the investment process, working as a team we’ve put together a set of portfolios we can use as a guide, each slightly different and designed to match appropriate risk profiles. To focus more attention on fewer investments we’ve expanded the number of collective funds and shares monitored by the research team to a total of over 280, roughly ten times the number found in an average portfolio. This includes our most widely held investments and many of those we expect to need in the short term. In January we relaunched our Model Portfolio Service which invests in collective funds that reflects these changes.
Finally, one could hardly have missed the rising concern over environment and climate last year, which adds to the public’s growing awareness of corporate governance, social responsibility and even the purpose or reason for existence of some businesses. While our focus is always on generating the best risk-adjusted returns we can for you, these factors are playing an increasing part in how we evaluate investments. Although more difficult to implement when investing in collective funds; the ability to incorporate personal preferences, for example avoiding armaments or tobacco, has long been a feature of our Discretionary service.
New clients will be invested in the refocused proposition from the start, but for existing clients this is more a direction of travel, with the rate of change controlled by their investment manager who is responsible for ensuring changes are consistent with each client’s needs and unless pre-agreed, within annual capital gains tax allowances.