Agility + Acumen

We’re independent. We’re not owned by a bank. We’re not owned by an

insurance company. When we started three years ago we deliberately designed a

nimble company to bring to advisers and investors a straightforward series of funds

managed by individuals who we believe are masters of their craft.

A good fund manager, like any good craftsman is hard to find. Once found, City

Financial harnesses the proven skills of these individuals. Without legacy or

conflict of interests and without the distractions that a big company brings, the

managers are empowered to focus on creating something remarkable for our

investors and their advisers.

Sesame adds City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund to recommended list

Sesame, the UK’s largest Independent Financial Adviser network, has added the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund to its recommended product list. Interest among IFAs has grown around the Strategic Gilt Fund’s ability to switch seamlessly between conventional and index-linked gilts. Ian Clarke, Head of Research at Sesame, responded to the action, “We have approved the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund because we appreciate the funds unique properties, our confidence in its managers and we believe it is worthy of careful consideration by financial advisers.”

Ian Williams and M&G’s Richard Woolnough challenge the consensus in Investment Week

On the front page of this week’s Investment Week, the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund Manager responds to bearish gilt market sentiment.

Highly regarded fixed income managers Richard Woolnough and Ian Williams have challenged the growing bearishness on the gilt market, believing the consensus view is exaggerating the long-term risks… the M&G manager [Mr Woolnough] says the UK has the chance to adjust to the crisis through fiscal stimulus, financial reform and a falling exchange rate.

However, the UK’s total outstanding gross debt stands at 68.7% of GDP, comparing favorably to the US at 84.8% and 78.7% for Germany. “The consensus is exaggerating the risks the UK gilt market faces.”

Top performing City Financial Strategic Gilt fund manager Ian Williams says as universal sentiment in markets is often wrong, there is a plausible case for owning UK Government debt in 2010.

“Rather than a surge in gilts, 2009 was characterised by a long and sustained rally in the equities markets. While this may have been simply coincidental to quantitative easing, it suggests that we should consider the possibility that a withdrawal of QE will have an equal, but opposite, effect. We could therefore see a retrenchment in equities and a much more stable gilt market than is currently built into most forecasts.”

The City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund is an actively managed portfolio of Gilts that aims to offer a superior risk adjusted return over that of passively holding a conventional gilt portfolio with similar characteristics.

With quantitative easing near its end, Ian Williams shares his view on 2010 with Bloomberg TV

Many investors are concerned about the impact that the end of quantitative easing may have on their portfolios. City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund manager, Ian Williams, discusses the forces likely to drive markets in 2010 and explains how the end of quantitative easing and the need for fiscal tightening could be supportive of the gilt market.

Morningstar awards City Financial Gilt Fund top Five Stars

Morningstar awards the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund a top rating of Five Stars in recognition of its category leading performance. Since its launch three years ago, the Strategic Gilt Fund has delivered 18.94%, having been the top fund in its IMA peer group in 2007, 2009, and cumulatively for three years.

“Gilt fears may be wrong, says City Financial” Money Marketing

City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund Manager, Ian Williams, argues why stability is likely to characterise the gilt market in 2010. Speaking to Money Marketing, Mr Williams explains that the onset of quantitative easing caused only a slight fall in yields and was, at least, coincidental to the long rally in equities markets, and “we should consider the possibility that a withdrawal of quantitative easing will have an equal, but opposite, effect.”

  • Read Ian's comments here

UK crawls from recession, but, is the consensus wrong again? asks Strategic Gilt Fund manager, Ian Williams

Recent headlines trumpeting the “end” of recession seem to be generating all the usual clamour. As a result, investors find themselves once again unsure of the direction of markets. With an election looming, quantitative easing ending, and fiscal tightening inevitable, there are a complex confluence of factors acting on the gilt market. Ian Williams, manager of the category-leading City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund, explains his outlook for 2010.

The Strategic Gilt Fund delivers strong returns despite a tough year for many others

As the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund approaches its third anniversary, it continues to lead the IMA UK Gilt Sector. Fund manager, Ian Williams, tells CNBC that many in the sector never recovered from losses sustained in January and February of 2009, a period during which the Strategic Gilt Fund continued to grow. Mr Williams also provides perspective on quantitative easing and the future of sterling.

Following £25bn of QE, Ian Williams speaks to Bloomberg TV about potential gilt rally

In the wake of the Bank of England’s announcement of more quantitative easing on 5 November, City Financial Strategic Gilt fund manager Ian Williams tells Bloomberg News that the gilt market may be oversold and positioned for a minor rally. Mr. Williams also offers an honest appraisal of UK economic health and recovery.

Strategic Gilt fund manager Ian Williams predicts lower UK interest rates and more quantitative easing

Due to its strong top decile performance and upcoming three-year anniversary, Ian Williams spoke this morning with Bloomberg TV sharing his views on interest rates, quantitative easing, UK monetary and fiscal policy as well as budget cuts. (Source: Lipper, 8 December 2006 – 26 October 2009)

Please note: This performance graph should replace the incorrect one that appears at 0:56 minutes into the clip.

FT Adviser highlights expansion at City Financial with new IFA relationship manager

On the back of growing demand from the IFA community, City Financial has expanded its sales capacity with a dedicated IFA relationship manager. Dan Lincoln joins City Financial with extensive experience in the fund management industry that will enable City Financial to better serve the IFA community.

City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund makes timely switch into conventional gilts

Bloomberg News highlights the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund’s well-timed switch to an overweight bias for conventional gilts, from a similarly overweight position in index-linked gilts. Fund manager Ian Williams explains, “when we sold our index-linked bonds three weeks ago, it was a relative-value play because we thought we squeezed as much juice out of this particular lemon in the short term.” Merrill Lynch’s UK Gilts Inflation-Linked Index’s returned 7% between October 2008 and mid-July 2009.

Market Minute with Ian Williams

The manager of the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund gives his reaction to the Bank of England's quantitative easing program extension to a total of 175 billion pounds.

Market Minute with Ian Williams

Writing to advisers, Ian Williams, manager of the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund, explains his belief that the primary driver behind gilt market behaviour will be equity markets for the balance of summer and into Q4.

Hargreaves Lansdown selects the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund for its Wealth 150

Mark Dampier of Hargreaves Lansdown has selected the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund to be included in his Wealth 150, what his team believes to "be the best funds across all major sectors." Further information about the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund is available here and on the Hargreaves Lansdown website.

"For a fund to be included in the Wealth 150 it must go through a rigorous selection process. Our 10 strong research team use complex mathematical models and meet hundreds of fund managers a year," says Mr Dampier on the Hargreaves Lansdown website.

Professional Adviser Hot 100 Funds

In the 23rd July 2009 edition of Professional Adviser, the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund takes the number two spot in the Hot 100.

  • Professional Adviser's website is here

Strategic Gilt Fund manager profiled by Fund Strategy

Fund Strategy highlights the rapid growth in the size of the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund managed by Ian Williams. “Nearly 100% of his portfolio is exposed to index-linked bonds and it seems investors share his view on the fixed interest market. Since November the fund size has increased from £25m to £60m today,” says the article.

“The small firm that uses diversity to punch well above its weight”

Speaking to Investment Adviser’s Nick Rice, City Financial Chief Executive Andrew Williams highlights the advantages a multi-boutique fund company can offer investors. In particular, the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund employs best available fund management to tap the expertise of fund manager Ian Williams whose innovative management has lead the Fund to be a consistent sector leader.

Mark Dampier of Hargreaves Lansdown cites City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund in the Sunday Times

In an article discussing the ongoing inflation vs. deflation debate in the Sunday Times, Hargreaves Lansdown’s Mark Dampier cites his investment in the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund. For those investors uncertain about the future, the Strategic Gilt Fund, which can seamlessly move between inflation-hedging index-linked gilts and conventional gilts, is a natural and necessary part of any long-term investment portfolio.

Strategic Gilt Fund in Investment Week

Ian Williams warns Investment Week that, “as the inflationary consequences of quantitative easing kick in, the yield curve will spike and investors holding ultra longer-dated government bonds and longer-dated corporate bonds stand to lose sizeable money.”

  • Read the story
  • Additional information is available in this story at IFA Online

Market minute with Ian Williams

Writing to advisers, Ian Williams, manager of the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund, tries to explain how they might help keep their clients on the right side of the inflation versus deflation debate. While the cleverest and most informed voices in the market are at odds with one another and advisers continue to confront today’s challenges, they can lean on the expertise and focused attention of a proven team of Gilt market investment professionals, equipped with the tools to adjust to the changing market environment.

City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund in The Telegraph

City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund manager, Ian Williams, tells The Telegraph that while “deflation is just a blip,” soon “we will find ourselves back on the inflationary treadmill.” The article highlights the possible advantages to investors of gaining exposure to index-linked gilts through gilt funds.

City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund chosen as a Professional Adviser Hot 100 Fund

The City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund has been ranked 13th in the Professional Adviser list of 100 Hot Funds because of its consistently high performance. The Strategic Gilt Fund is an IMA UK Gilt sector leader, having returned more than 10% in 2008 and continues to lead the sector in 2009. (Source: Lipper: 01.01.2008 – 23.02.2009)

Ian Williams highlights core issue for gilt market in an appearance on Bloomberg TV

Responding to the first failed gilt auction in nearly seven years, Strategic Gilt Fund manager Ian Williams explains that this particular failed auction ought to be viewed more as a reflection of the market’s sentiment regarding longer-dated gilts, rather than to all gilts.

After the announcement of quantitative easing, the market may have become overly concerned with the logistics of implementation, and temporarily lost sight of the long-term implications of such policies. The failure of an auction of longer-dated gilts represents a recognition on the part of the market of the inflationary pressure that quantitative easing could spur down the road.

Deflation is now yesterday’s story, and quantitative easing simply the authorities’ response to it. The core issue remains the sheer scale of the government’s borrowing requirement and the identification of a proper balance between gilt issuance and quantitative easing.

Strategic Gilt fund manager warns of inflation down the road

Speaking to Bloomberg TV, City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund manager Ian Williams warns that the policies announced by the Bank of England on March 5th risk inflation in the medium to long-term.

The focus of this new strategy involves the Bank of England buying up approximately £75 billion worth of gilts. This in turn paves the way for the Treasury to flood the market with new gilt issuances. Williams explains that though this may stem deflation now, the swollen money supply will create substantial inflationary pressure once the UK is on the road to economic recovery.

Williams highlights the long-dated segment of the yield curve as carrying the most risk of devaluation in the future. To help limit the exposure to inflation of the Strategic Gilt fund Williams is holding index-linked gilts.

"No time for a novice"

The manager of the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund explains that the recently announced policy of quantitative easing amounts to little more than the modern day equivalent of printing money.

"Gilt fund spots huge low risk opportunity," says IC Advantage

Moira O'Neill covering the City Financial Gilt Fund, outlines three "bull points":
• potential higher reward than corporate bonds,
• low risk protection from inflation
• experienced manager

  • Read the article (subscription required)

City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund manager writing in The Telegraph

Ian Williams writes in The Telegraph that the recent Bank of England action “is the modern day equivalent of printing money and has longer-term inflationary implications.”

Strategic Gilt Fund in The Sunday Times

Darius McDermott of Chelsea Financial Services tells The Times that, “…in an environment of rock-bottom cash rates, gilts present a lower risk option for cautious investors” and he likes the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund.

Fund buys index-linked gilts

City Financial "has bought inflation-protected bonds for the first time for its top-performing U.K. gilt fund, betting the government’s economic stimulus plan will fuel growth and consumer-price increases," says Bloomberg News.

Strategic Gilt Fund in Investment Week

"Wise move into index-linked government debt separates Strategic Gilt from its peers," says Hysni Kaso in Investment Week.

The end of an era? We are now in uncharted territory as regards the state of the global economy

Ken Forman, in his latest quarterly bulletin, covers the events which have unfolded with breathtaking speed in recent months.

Top tips for saving in a slump

The Times highlights the City Financial Strategic Gilt Fund in their article "Top tips for saving in a slump."

Preservation is now as important as performance

Arguably the world is in one of its greatest periods of financial turmoil. Likely the greatest upheaval of a generation. Stocks, bonds, currencies and real assets like houses, property and oil have all seen high levels of price instability.

Is the storm starting? Are we in its eye? Or have we passed through? In times like this, it makes sense for investors to step back and take stock.

"What in the world..." is a new, simple and concise City Financial sales aid to help make sense of the financial events unfolding around us. We are committed to providing helpful and timely materials for advisers to discuss with their clients.