Openwork’s fund arm Omnis Investments has signed up a number of big hitting fund managers as it begins a new strategy of splitting mandates to expand its fund range.
The advice network, which has over 700 wealth advisers, operates on a similar model to St James’s Place whereby Omnis Investments acts as the authorised corporate director (ACD) for funds which are managed on exclusive segregated mandates by third party fund managers.
Omnis is now updating its strategy to split mandates so they focus on specific asset classes or countries for example it is planning on splitting its Asia Pacific fund into an Asia Pacific ex-Japan fund and a Japanese fund. This new strategy will see Veritas Asset Management signed up by Omnis.
- Citywire AA rated Ezra Sun, head of Asia at Veritas Asset Management, is going to run the new Asia Pacific ex-Japan equity strategy. The new Japanese equity strategy will be managed by new managers Andrew Rose and Masaki Taketsume for Schroders;
- at the moment Baillie Gifford is the investment manager for the Omnis Asia Pacific Equity fund but when asked, a spokesman for the firm would not say if Baillie Gifford is being dropped from this mandate;
- the Omnis UK Equity fund (with £1 billion of assets) is splitting in to one strategy focused on smaller companies, run by Franklin Templeton’s Colin Morton and another investing in all UK firms, run by Citywire + rated Richard Bullas. Both will be managed by Franklin Templeton which came on board as a replacement for Schroders earlier this month;
- the fixed income fund will be split into a sterling corporate bond strategy, run by Citywire + rated Alasdair Ross and a UK gilt strategy managed by Dave Chappell - both managers are at Columbia Threadneedle
These new funds have not been approved by the regulator yet (so they are only described as strategies at the minute) and are expected to be launched in the third quarter of 2018.
Toni Meadows (pictured), chief investment officer at Omnis, told New Model Adviser® the new updated approach will add more asset coverage options for portfolios.
‘This is about coverage of asset classes, styles of manager and it creates capacity within the range and sets up future growth of the service,’ he said. ‘Openwork went through £7 billion the other day on platform and quite a lot of that (£6 billion) goes through Omnis. The managed portfolio service I run, which is a discretionary service, is now through £1 billion in one year and the advisory service is over £4.5 billion.’
Meadows said there will be further fund launches through 2019.
He added Openwork’s strategy is to use its vast distribution network to ensure these mandates have ‘access to the best managers’ and negotiates rates which are not more expensive than the best institutional charges in the market.