City Financial announces launch of The Adviser Centre
City Financial, the growing independent fund manager, is launching The Adviser Centre (www.theadvisercentre.co.uk), a free-to-air, online research and consultancy service to help advisers with their investment processes and their assessments of fund suitability.
The Adviser Centre is a dynamic tool through which City Financial’s dedicated Multi Asset team provides impartial investment research, including fund recommendations, monthly market and asset allocation viewpoints and additional market insights.
The team uses a well-established and proven research philosophy and process to identify funds with a discernible and sustainable competitive edge. The research is built around the critical elements of quality, utility and value for money. It clearly highlights their view of each fund’s profile and explains their expectations for its behaviour in differing market conditions. This approach supports advisers in their assessments of a fund’s suitability and helps explain how a fund might be used in portfolios.
The team’s research is constructed around three lists, reflecting advisers’ actual experience of managing portfolios. The strongest conviction ideas reside in the Recommended list. Funds featured on this list have satisfied the thresholds with regard to quality and value for money. Established funds are those that are near or at capacity and continue to have identifiable merits. The Positive Watch list includes up-and-coming managers, as well as managers who have moved to new organisations and/or are running different mandates.
The service incorporates a host of other features, including IMA Sector Overviews, which provide perspectives on the composition of key sectors and an explanation of how The Adviser Centre’s featured funds can be viewed in the context of each.
The service has been developed by Peter Toogood, Gill Hutchison and Anthony McDonald, who joined City Financial’s Multi Asset team in late 2013. They previously led the fund consultancy team at Morningstar OBSR, advising on over £4bn of assets. Toogood co-founded the Forsyth-OBSR Ratings Service in 2002 (subsequently OBSR Fund Ratings and Morningstar OBSR). They have over 50 years’ combined industry experience and also support Mark Harris in managing City Financial’s suite of Multi Asset funds.
In March 2014, the team announced it had teamed up with Scopic Research, which focuses exclusively on independent multi-manager research. Scopic’s analysis is available through The Adviser Centre via a direct link.
City Financial also announced that it is working with Distribution Technology to embed The Adviser Centre’s research recommendations within DT’s Dynamic Planner. This will be the first phase of a series of initiatives with Distribution Technology.
Andrew Williams, CEO of City Financial, commented; “We have been very successful in growing the business through a range of distinct propositions. The development of The Adviser Centre is testament to the firm’s philosophy to grow through innovation and to create products that meet advisers’ needs.”
Peter Toogood, Investment Director at City Financial, adds: “The team has a strong heritage in investment and in conducting market-leading, impartial fund research. We have developed The Adviser Centre to continue to provide unbiased fund research and analysis in a format that is relevant for advisers. Our work is always undertaken in the context of financial market understanding, which is a critical factor in making fund research relevant and well-informed.”
The Adviser Centre has already been well received by advisers and wealth managers.
Tenet Group’s research, technical and investment solutions experts, Financial Planning Services, comments:
“We believe The Adviser Centre is a valuable addition to the growing market of fund selection tools. Whereas most fund research tools offer good quantitative research data, The Adviser Centre supports the qualitative aspects of research that advisers need to undertake, bringing clarity to their view of the competence and abilities of the fund management. Their fund factsheets offer an impressive level of data, with a clear indication of what they are watching and why, along with specific details on why funds are rated. We also like their ‘Positive Watch’ category, which offers advisers exciting funds to watch for the future, but with clear reasons why they are not yet recommended.
This clarity is a continuing theme throughout the site - the IMA Sector Overviews break down the investment approaches in a self-explanatory manner, their own research process is plainly mapped out and their remuneration process is highly transparent.
We are familiar with the reputation of Peter Toogood and Gill Hutchison, who are extremely experienced in this area and believe that The Adviser Centre will assist advisers in gaining a greater knowledge of funds and processes, helping them identify and conduct research on actively-managed fund investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs.”
Paul Davey, Investment Director at Unizone, a leading Essex-based financial advisory practice, said:
“The Adviser Centre is a differentiated research service that will fulfil an important role supporting our fund research process. We particularly like the clarity and detail of the fund opinions and performance expectations.”
About The Adviser Centre
The Adviser Centre is an online, free-to-air research and consulting service designed to assist independently-minded financial advisers with their investment decision-making process.
The service provides impartial research on a broad range of investment vehicles, bringing clarity to The Adviser Centre team’s view of each fund’s manager, as well as explaining the fund’s characteristics and how it might be used. Through this process, they seek to help advisers to assess a fund’s suitability for their clients’ portfolios.