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Wealth Manager Top 100 2017: the complete list of stars

The full list of names to make our annual study into the most influential people in fund selection across the private client industry.

Top 100

In the sixth edition of our annual study into the top 100 fund buyers in the private client world there were 24 new faces to make the cut, reflecting both consolidation and the emergence of young talent.

All of the companies featured this year allocate over £1 billion apiece into collectives and we are able to provide unique insight into both the size and composition of their buy lists and how they have changed over the year.

Here is the complete list of the 100 stars to make the cut.

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Top 100

In the sixth edition of our annual study into the top 100 fund buyers in the private client world there were 24 new faces to make the cut, reflecting both consolidation and the emergence of young talent.

All of the companies featured this year allocate over £1 billion apiece into collectives and we are able to provide unique insight into both the size and composition of their buy lists and how they have changed over the year.

Here is the complete list of the 100 stars to make the cut.

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Ziad Abou Gergi

Barclays Wealth & Investment Management

Ziad Abou Gergi’s career started out researching European utilities and technology stocks. He joined Barclays’ Paris office in 2005 where he worked as an equity portfolio manager and sector analyst. He then moved to Barclays’ London office in 2011 where he became part of Barclays Wealth & Investment Management’s multi-manager team.

Now Abou Gergi is responsible for looking at the US, selecting and managing US-only equity funds and mandates. He sits on the investment committee, Barclays’ asset allocation committee and heads the alternatives fund selection team.

In regards to current charges, Abou Gergi feels he is getting good value for money due to the recent downtrend in fund charges. He says, however, ‘the competition from cheap passive solutions and the need for a positive after fees risk-adjusted return is increasing the need for good and skilled managers and manager selectors’.

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Daniel Adams

Psigma Investment Management

Daniel Adams joined Psigma in 2007 and trained as an investment manager specialising in private client portfolio construction. He soon moved to the investment team where he is currently a senior analyst, focusing on collective investments and asset allocation. The firm manages £2.8 billion in assets and its buy list mainly features actively managed funds, with no ETFs or smart beta products.

Although a believer in the value that good active managers add over time, Adams thinks that the annual management charges paid for active funds will drop. ‘Managers are being judged (unrealistically) across shorter and shorter time periods. This is leading to funds with very small active share which consequently produce similar returns to the market. Ironically (and rightly), they are then compared with passives, given the similar return profile, which circles back to the issue of fees.’

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Craig Allen

Julius Baer

Julius Baer Guernsey managing director Craig Allen’s buy list over the last 12 months has begun to be even more focused on active management and funds with smaller asset bases.

Allen manages £550 million in personal assets under management (AUM) and oversees the investment management department of Julius Baer.

Despite all the recent noise about the price of funds, Allen broadly finds fund fees to be good value. He says: ‘In a low interest rate environment and in a highly competitive marketplace, fund houses that overcharge will soon go out of business unless they are able to deliver exceptional performance.’ Allen has allocated 35% of his AUM into 30 actively managed funds, the most recent being the Man GLG Emerging Markets Debt fund. He joined Julius Baer from Credit Suisse in early 2016, along with several colleagues.

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Ian Aylward

Barclays Wealth & Investment Management

Ian Aylward is responsible for the running of £15 billion of assets at Barclays Wealth & Investment Management. He joined the firm last year as head of manager and fund selection from Aviva Investors where he had worked for six years.

In the current economic environment, Aylward does not feel he is getting good value for money with fund charges, noting the ‘fee pressure is significant’. Overall, he expects the AMCs that he pays for active funds to fall.

Prior to Barclays, Aylward was a UK equity fund manager with the CIS followed by Rothschild Asset Management. He then spent 10 years of his career at Old Mutual Wealth.

Looking back on 2017, Aylward comments that the firm’s buy list has evolved by cutting back alternative Ucits funds and adding some ESG funds instead.

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Genevra Banszky von Ambroz

Smith & Williamson

Genevra Banszky von Ambroz has been a member of Smith & Williamson’s multi-manager team since January 2010, and in four years worked her way up to become deputy fund manager on S&W’s Defensive Growth and MM Global Investment funds. Months later she also became deputy fund manager on the firm’s MM Endurance Balanced fund.

As part of her role, Banszky von Ambroz also coordinates Smith & Williamson’s conventional investment companies recommended list and is responsible for the non-property asset-backed funds recommended list, which primarily includes infrastructure, renewable energy and asset leasing funds. In addition, she is a member of the firm’s managed portfolio service investment committee. She is responsible for £320 million in assets under management, while the firm manages £19.2 billion in total.

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Haig Bathgate

Tcam Asset Management

Haig Bathgate is unimpressed by smart beta funds, or ‘dumb beta plus smart marketing’ he quotes economist James Montier as saying. He believes passive strategies are not as cheap as many think. Therefore the Tcam co-CEO and CIO has the highest percentage of the firm’s assets under management, at 65%, allocated to actively managed unitised funds, with zero in either exchange-traded funds and smart beta. In total, Tcam has £1 billion of assets under management, with Bathgate personally overseeing £127 million.

Bathgate led a buyout of Tcam alongside co-CEO Alex Montgomery in 2015 and says there have been three key changes to the buy list over the past year: a tilt of equity exposure towards value, a move to diversify client portfolios away from traditional fixed interest exposure and the addition of LGT Long Volatility to its list, as part of the firm’s protection strategy.

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Derek Beatty

Julius Baer

Julius Baer’s Derek Beatty sees the active versus passive debate as largely unnecessary, noting that there is a time and a place for both.

However, this year is clearly not the time for passives, according to Beatty, who described selling out of all his passive holdings as his best investment call over the past 12 months.

Although he sees annual management changes coming down in the future, he says he ‘fundamentally believes in active management’ and does not mind paying active fees for strong risk-adjusted returns.

Beatty is currently a senior portfolio manager at Julius Baer, where he runs multi-asset portfolios. Prior to joining Julius Baer at the start of 2016, Beatty spent 11 years at Credit Suisse’s wealth management division in Guernsey, London and Sydney.

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Thomas Becket

Psigma Investment Management

Having diverted considerably from the original subject of his studies, Becket, a classics graduate who dislikes people eating on commuter trains, joined Psigma in 2004 and stayed on to become its chief investment officer.


He is also responsible for a network of contacts throughout the UK, Europe, America and the Far East and looks after the firm’s managed portfolio service, and investment selection process.

He says that the firm’s buy list, which is spread across actively managed and closed-ended funds, alternative Ucits and segregated mandates, has become more concentrated and now comprises only 32 funds.

‘The investment world has become a place where there is far too little focus on investing for the long term,’ he says. ‘The good news is that the obsessive focus investors have with previous winners is affording us the opportunity to make a lot of money for our investors in genuinely contrarian opportunities.’

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Marcus Blyth

Investec Wealth & Investment

Marcus Blyth says he ‘perfectly timed’ his entry into the industry in July 2007, when he joined GAM as a hedge fund manager within its multi-manager department. He managed to evade a number of redundancies related to the global financial crisis and left GAM in 2011 for Architas.

He then moved to Kleinwort Benson where he spent just over 18 months, finally ending up at Investec Wealth & Investment, where he now heads coverage of Asia and emerging markets third party funds, as well as co-managing the firm’s UK fund coverage. Personally, he oversees £4.5 billion.

He believes that annual management charges for active funds will fall in the future, noting: ‘There is no doubt we are in a scenario akin to a supermarket price war as management houses look to benefit and leverage from economies of scale. This is why we are seeing an increase in merger activity in preparation to remain competitive.’

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William Bolger

Société Générale

William Bolger began his career in the offshore fund management, and corporate and institutional client services departments at the Royal Bank of Canada in the early 2000s.

In 2010, Bolger joined SG Hambros as a funds analyst for the SGPB Fund Solutions team, specialising in fund selection for use throughout the private bank globally.

Currently based in the Channel Islands, Bolger, as well as being the Guernsey office head, is responsible for chairing the Société Générale private banking advisory fund selection committee. This comprises a team of 10 experienced fund specialists from across Europe, tasked with selecting the most suitable third party investment strategies from Lyxor Investment Partners’ buy list for clients throughout the Société Générale private banking network.

Out of his huge buy list of around 2,500 different funds, 2,000 are exchange-traded funds (ETF). Bolger personally runs £1 billion in assets under advice and management.

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Alex Brandreth

Brown Shipley

Evidently pleased with his decision to increase his asset allocation in both Asia and emerging markets, Alex Brandreth reports it has been a strong contributor to performance this year.

Brandreth personally manages £335 million of Brown Shipley’s total AUM. While a large proportion of its buy list is made up of actively managed unitised funds, Brandreth recognises the scope for fee reduction in the market. He describes the fee gap between active and passive funds as ‘at an extreme’ and expects the AMCs paid for active funds to fall as Mifid II provides greater focus on fees within the industry.

Brandreth joined Brown Shipley in 2010 and became head of structured products in 2015. Shortly afterwards he also took on the role of deputy chief investment officer in 2016, alongside managing Brown Shipley’s model portfolio service across a number of platforms.

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Lydia Brook

LGT Vestra

Lydia Brook may have studied chemistry at UCL, but it was the investment industry that won her over. She started her career on the graduate scheme at Barclays Investment Bank where she spent two years focused on equity derivatives and structured products. In 2016 she joined LGT Vestra as a fund analyst covering long-only equity funds and structured products, a position she holds to date.

Brook, whose aim was to pursue a career in research, says that aside from using certain automated reports for performance analysis research, the process at LGT Vestra is not automated.

The company has £8.8 billion in assets under management, of which 40% is allocated to active funds and only 3% to ETFs.

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Ross Brookes

Charles Stanley

As head of collectives research at Charles Stanley, Ross Brookes oversees the wealth manager’s 186-strong buy list, which he says has come down in size over the past year.

Brookes has over 13 years’ investment research experience and joined Charles Stanley in September 2008, becoming team head in 2013. As part of this role, he also sits on the firm’s investment committee.

Looking at future industry trends, he believes active management fees will come under ‘continued pressure from the passive industry’, noting ‘investors are less prepared to overpay for closet trackers’. He also believes ESG will continue to grow in importance, saying: ‘We subscribe to the view that good corporate governance can lead to better investment outcomes and ESG criteria form a sizeable part of the DDQ [due diligence questions] sent to all funds we interview.’

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Rosie Bullard

James Hambro & Partners

Rosie Bullard started her career at HSBC as an investment assistant straight after graduating from Durham University in 2004. She moved a year later to UBS, where she was promoted to a director at the age of just 27. She went on to join James Hambro & Partners in 2013 as a portfolio manager and became a partner in 2016.

Bullard specialises in looking after the affairs of private clients, trusts and charities, and runs £300 million of client assets. Her best investment call this year has been to focus on individual stock selection and funds, noting exposure to technology has helped performance. On this theme, she highlights Citywire A-rated managers Nick Evans and Ben Rogoff’s Polar Capital Global Tech fund as a top pick.

The average annual management charge she pays for funds is 0.75%, but in the long run, Bullard expects this figure to fall.

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Adam Burniston

Thesis Asset Management

Over the past 12 months, Thesis Asset Management has increased the number of absolute return funds on its buy list, despite Adam Burniston’s wariness of ‘absolute return funds that return absolutely nothing’.

Joining Thesis from a tech firm where he worked as a business analyst, Burniston was put in charge of US, Japan and global equity, infrastructure and property as a fund and research analyst. He chooses funds and manages £220 million of the firm’s assets. Promoted to his current role as model portfolio manager, he runs Thesis’s model portfolio service on its nominee and multiple platforms.

When seeding funds, Burniston says he looks for genuine investment acumen, a strong pedigree, fund philosophy and strategy, as well as a share class deal that will benefit investors.

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James Burns

Smith & Williamson

A partner at Smith & Williamson, James Burns joined the firm a year after graduating from the University of St. Andrews in 1998 with a master’s in management. He started working on the investment trust desk in 2001, and now co-heads the firm’s managed portfolio service and leads the multi manager team, responsible for managing £350 million of client assets. He also sits on S&W’s asset allocation policy committee.

He says his best investment call this year has been a couple of special situation discounts plays in the investment trust sector that have both subsequently been taken over. Burns also says that automation and artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming part of his investment process, but the trend of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria is not currently part of his thinking, when it comes to investments.

Burns is a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), and outside of fund management lists golf, tennis, rugby, football and theatre among his interests, as well as hockey, a sport in which he represented Scotland between 1996 and 2003.

His top pick is the City Financial Absolute Equity fund, managed by David Crawford, which has returned 31.4% over three years to the end of July, compared to the sector average of 11.9% (see graph). Burns says the fund had a ‘rocky performance’ last year but has bounced back ‘pretty strongly’ and also has a good historical performance.

He adds that it seems to be able to ‘make money in different market conditions, which in the current climate could be invaluable’.

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Adam Carruthers

Charles Stanley

‘Unashamedly qualitative’ is how Adam Carruthers, collectives analyst at Charles Stanley, describes the company’s approach to selecting fund managers, saying: ‘We take our time to fully understand a manager’s investment process with extensive questionnaires and face to face interviews.’

A chartered wealth manager, Carruthers went on to be responsible for the approved panel of funds at national IFA firms Origen and RJ Temple after graduating with a master’s in economics from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh.

He later joined Barclays Wealth as a fund manager, responsible for the day to day running of a suite of Ucits multi-manager vehicles across multiple domiciles.

At Charles Stanley he is responsible for the selection of what he deems best in class managers across all asset classes for inclusion in the company’s multi-asset class portfolios as well as its preferred list of collectives.

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Richard Carter

Quilter Cheviot

An expert in fixed income, particularly the global bond market, Richard Carter joined Quilter Cheviot in 2011 as head of fixed income research, having previously been an analyst and fund manager at Barings and BNY Mellon. As part of his role, he chairs the firm’s fixed income committee and is a member of its asset allocation and collectives committees.

Carter says his buy list has evolved over the past 12 months by adding more passive options, but stressed that the ‘vast bulk’ of the firm’s assets remain in ‘high conviction active fund choices’.

Quilter Cheviot also seeds funds and Carter says he would need to see a demonstrable and reliable track record from the fund manager to seed a fund, and also have confidence and familiarity with the company that is launching it. But he adds that his biggest investment gripe is that several companies launch funds because ‘they think they can gather assets easily even though the investment opportunity has probably already passed’.

Carter’s top pick in fixed income at the moment is the Pimco Global Investment Grade Credit fund (see graph), which he says has a very strong track record and ‘benefits from the huge depth of resources at Pimco’. He adds that it also provides a way of accessing a wider opportunity set than is available in pure UK corporate bond funds.

On a personal note, Carter says that his pet peeve is that his children are growing up ‘way too fast’ and his hair is ‘getting more grey everyday’, adding ‘the two are probably linked’.

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Navin Chauhan

Quilter Cheviot

As an investment fund analyst at Quilter Cheviot, Navin Chauhan covers regional long-only equity funds and investment trusts. His main focus is pan-European equities, infrastructure, private equity, property and passive investments.

With a degree in computer systems engineering and a masters in investment management, Chauhan started his career as an analyst at Deutsche Bank and moved on to hold similar roles at Russell Investments and Bank of America Merrill Lynch before joining Quilter Cheviot in 2012.

Chauhan's team is responsible for £13.2 billion of the firm’s £22.5 billion in assets under management. He says his best investment call this year has been investing in the Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies Focus fund and highlights its manager, Nick Williamson, as his hidden gem. The most recent addition to the firm’s 321-strong buy list has been the Robo Global Robotics and Autmotation Go Ucits ETF.

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Tim Cockerill

Rowan Dartington

After spending seven years at Ashcourt Rowan, where he was head of collective investments, Tim Cockerill joined Rowan Dartington, alongside his colleague Guy Stephens. The pair joined the firm in July 2011 shortly after Capita managing director of wealth and distribution services Graham Coxell led a consortium that bought out the company.

A former Wealth Manager cover star, Cockerill brings over 20 years’ experience to his current role of investment director at Rowan Dartington. The majority of his career has been in fund research and portfolio management. After he joined Rowan Dartington, Cockerill and Stephens, who at the time had worked together for 10 years, got to work on overhauling the investment proposition, with Cockerill taking charge of establishing a new investment process.

Aside from his senior position at the Bristol-based wealth manager, he is a regular commentator in the press.

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David Coombs

Rathbones

Highlighted by Rathbone Unit Trust Management chief executive Mike Webb in a profile interview with Wealth Manager as an ‘incredible’ fund manager with ‘great loyalty to the business’, Citywire AAA-rated David Coombs was brought over to the funds side of the firm from the private client division after Webb recognised his ‘latent potential’.

Head of multi-asset investments at the firm, Coombs joined Rathbones in 2007 after spending a long stint of his career at Barings. He was at the company for 20 years, having joined from Hambros in 1988, and managed institutional and private client funds via pooled vehicles and segregated accounts.

At Rathbones, Coombs is responsible for developing its investment propositions for financial advisers and networks. He is the lead manager for the Rathbones Multi-Asset Portfolio funds and the offshore equivalents domiciled in Jersey. He also co-manages the firm’s Strategic Bond fund.

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Emma Corbishley

UBS

Associate director Emma Corbishley currently plays a key role in fund analysis at UBS Wealth Management’s office in London. Since joining from EY in 2011, Corbishley has also been managing the firm’s exposure for a number of asset classes within UK discretionary mandates. She is a CFA charterholder.

With a focus on equities, bonds and property, Corbishley’s analysis currently covers the UK, Europe, Asia, the US and Japan.

Corbishley would like to see a standardised approach to factsheets within the fund industry and is of the belief that many factsheets are not fit for purpose. While she acknowledges that this is not a legal requirement, she feels that clients will expect a suitable factsheet to be available. She also takes issue with fund providers that are slow to give requested information, while simultaneously sharing information on other products that has not been requested.

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Ian Crispo

Deutsche Bank Wealth Management

Within the global products and solutions group at Deutsche Bank Wealth Management, Ian Crispo heads hedge fund and mutual fund selection. He is specifically responsible for selecting and monitoring liquid fund investments for the bank’s global platforms.

After graduating from Essec Business School in Paris, he worked as a management consultant. He joined Deutsche Bank in 2005 and holds a variety of roles within the alternative investment and hedge funds areas. Aside from fund research, he also provides input on the bank’s model portfolios and oversees £15 billion in assets.

In the buy list, Crispo says that the number of unconstrained fixed income strategies, especially in emerging market debt, has increased over the last 12 months, as well as the number of liquid alternatives with a focus on relative value. It features 200 actively managed unitised funds and 500 ETFs.

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Peter Dalgliesh

Parmenion Capital Partners

Peter Dalgliesh started his financial career as a graduate trainee at Baring Asset Management. More than two decades and a few positions later, he joined Parmenion in 2012 where he became the managing director of its investment management business.

Although Dalgliesh spent 17 years running Asia Pacific and emerging markets funds at firms such as Jupiter Asset Management and Gartmore, he now concentrates on almost every part of the world, looking at equities, bonds, alternatives, property and commodities.

The firm’s £3.7 billion in assets under management is split 55% in actively managed funds and 45% in passively managed, while the buy list has a typical annual turnover of 20-30%. Dalgliesh says the firm’s hidden gem is its consistent risk framework, highlighting the Miton UK Multi Cap Income fund as the most recent addition to the buy list.

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James Davies

Close Brothers Asset Management

James Davies is an investment manager and senior fund research specialist working on Close Brothers Asset Management’s (CBAM) manager research teams. He is also co-manager of the Close Managed funds.

He began his career at Chartwell, joining in 2003 and progressing to head the firm’s fund research in 2006. Chartwell was acquired by Close Brothers the following year and he moved across as part of the deal.

Davies has been running discretionary portfolios since 2009 and currently oversees £600 million personally. He cites the Jupiter European Opportunities investment trust as his top performer over the last year and says that CBAM has also been adding more emerging market equity funds, including KLS Sloane Robinson Emerging Markets, to the firm’s 130-strong buy list.

Looking ahead, he believes annual management fees on active funds will fall further as ‘funds will increasingly have to justify their charges’.

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Alastair Dean

Stonehage Fleming

Having seen more interest from Stonehage Fleming’s client base on environmental, social and governance issues, senior associate Alastair Dean says sustainable criteria is increasingly becoming part of the firm’s investment remit.

‘In a recent survey we conducted with the equity funds on our approved list, more than 80% of them incorporated a range of social and governance factors when selecting securities,’ he says.

Another change this year was an increase in exposure to US value equity at the expense of UK assets, a decision that has played out well for the firm so far.

Dean joined Stonehage Fleming in 2015 from Mazars Financial Planning where he worked in the investment team. He began his career at ABN AMRO after graduating from the London School of Economics in 2007 with a degree in business maths and statistics.

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Stuart Derrick

Cazenove Capital

Stuart Derrick is head of manager selection at Cazenove Capital, which runs a total of £43.6 billion in assets under management. In 2017, Cazenove has benefitted from an overweight allocation to Asian equities, and also enjoyed strong relative performance from the Schroder Asian Alpha Plus fund.

Although there is growing pressure on active funds to lower charges, Derrick is clear that he is seeking value rather than the lowest price. While Cazenove nonetheless strives to pay the lowest fee possible, he explains that cost cutting will not be achieved at the expense of quality.

Derrick believes it is paramount to back managers who stick with their philosophy throughout a market cycle. This has not led to a heavy reliance on any fund house in particular, and he adds that Cazenove’s open architecture approach to manager selection encourages a continual review of who is best in class, by asset or region.

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Anastasia Diangelaki

RBC Wealth Management

Anastasia Diangelaki is an associate director at RBC Wealth Management, where she is responsible for fund selection. She started out working at a brokerage in Athens before moving over to the UK to study for an MSc Finance at the University of Warwick Business School in 2007.

She initially joined RBC Wealth Management as an investment analyst in the bank’s private client investment management team. Since being appointed by the firm, she has gone on to become a CFA charterholder.

Now an associate director in the company’s investment solutions team, Diangelaki has become a stalwart of the Wealth Manager Top 100 and is also an alumni of Wealth Manager Top 30 under 30, which showcases the rising stars of the private client world.

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Ahmet Feridun

Stonehage Fleming

Ahmet Feridun, Stonehage Fleming’s director of manager research oversees all aspects of manager selection and monitoring but has a particular emphasis on alternatives research, with four alternative Ucits products on his buy list.

He joined the firm in 2007, working initially as a generalist investment analyst researching a range of asset classes but predominantly equity managers. Prior to this he worked on Pictet Asset Management’s emerging market equities team. Feridun has an undergraduate degree in politics, philosophy and economics from University of Oxford and is a CFA charterholder.

As a Manchester United fan, Feridun can be confident in his team generally winning matches. In the investment world, however, he dislikes managers who appear overconfident in their ability to time markets and pick stocks. ‘Our research shows even the best active managers only get around 60% of their decisions right,’ he says.

Although happy paying 0.65% on average for active equity funds, Feridun expects rates to fall due to the proliferation of passives. The rise of these products is culminating in what Feridun terms the ‘race to zero’ where managers are feeling pressure to cut fees simply to remain competitive. ‘Having said that, we also expect those active managers that can demonstrate value for money through consistent outperformance to be more resilient in maintaining their fee level,’ he says.

Feridun oversees £350 million of Stonehage Fleming’s £9.9 billion assets under advice, 80% of which is allocated to actively managed unitised funds. The most recent addition to this buy list has been the Vulcan US Value fund, but Feridun says his hidden gem is the Polar Global Insurance fund (see graph), managed by Citywire A-rated Nick Martin.

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Jamie Fletcher

Sarasin & Partners

Responsible for the management of nine multi-asset funds of funds with a combined total of around £1.1 billion in assets under management (AUM), Sarasin & Partners analyst and portfolio manager Jamie Fletcher has spent his entire career at the company since joining in 2006. Initially working in the operations department, he became part of the project team developing Sarasin’s portfolio management system in 2010. Four years later, he joined the firm’s third party funds team and is a CFA charterholder.

When seeding funds, Fletcher looks for those with a clear pipeline of AUM growth, as well as a longer track record if the manager was previously at a different fund or if it has a US version. He adds that seeding funds ‘is an opportunity for us to negotiate favourable fees for our clients’. He highlights Citywire AA-rated Michael Clements, manager of the Oyster Continental European fund, as his hidden gem fund manager.

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Louie French

Tilney

Short-termism and a focus on cost rather than quality are two issues that Louie French, senior research analyst at Tilney, would like to see the fund industry overcome. He has some scope to influence this change in his current role, where he is Tilney’s lead fund selector for the commodities, ESG and infrastructure sectors. He also co-authors the company’s markets and macroeconomics publications.

French has a profile outside of the industry, working also as an elected London councillor. In addition to this, he is the chairman of a local authority pension fund and a committee member of the London Collective Investment Vehicle.

Fitting with his long-term focus, French notes that Tilney invests in the services of Eiris for ESG factor analysis when constructing charity or client portfolios with specific ESG requests. He also notes that ESG values are entrenched in the business and fits with the firm’s focus on finding fund managers who invest in quality companies.

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Jamie Frere-Scott

LGT Vestra

After spending a few months as Ashcourt Rowan’s head of funds, Jamie Frere-Scott joined LGT Vestra in September 2015 to run its authorised funds unit. He had previously spent several years working in the institutional market at Russell Investments and Mobius Life, where he served as head of research for nearly two years.

Frere-Scott says that broader investment decisions are made at the investment committee level for asset allocation and this year’s best call has been maintaining exposure to quality stocks despite the 2016 value-snap.

He highlights the JOHCM UK Dynamic and T Rowe Price Global Technology funds as his hidden gems.

The company manages £8.8 billion of assets, with half of the buy list in active funds and another 20% split between closed-ended funds, alternative Ucits and ETFs.

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Minesh Gajjar

Coutts

Minesh Gajjar now has 10 years of fund manager research and selection, and portfolio management experience, after spending the previous seven years in a variety of financial roles.

After graduating with a mathematics degree from London’s Queen Mary University, he began his career in technology, media and telecoms brokerage FOR Securities, providing research for institutional investors. After the dotcom crash, he moved to ABN Amro, then FTSE Group, where he helped develop index products.

Gajjar made the switch into portfolio management in 2005, joining Nedgroup Investments, running three multi-manager portfolios. He moved over to Coutts, where he was a director, in 2013, before leaving last month. His role included fund selection for private client portfolios and he was also a member of the private bank’s investment strategy team.

He highlights the active risk taken by funds in comparison to their fee, as the benchmark of whether a fund is delivering value for money.

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Shiwen Gao

Investec Wealth & Investment

A member of its investment committee, Shiwen Gao has been at Investec Wealth & Investment since May 2016. As a fund selection specialist, she focuses specifically on global, Japanese and Asian equities, as well as property. After graduating with a masters in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics, Gao joined Quilter Cheviot. There she was responsible for global equity fund research as part of Old Mutual Wealth’s multi-asset team. Within her specialist area, her hidden gem pick is the Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon fund.

Her biggest investment gripe is fund managers who are not able to communicate their personal investment philosophy, as well as sales pitches that are not targeted to the audience. She also reveals that when the team believes there is a unique opportunity, they do not shy away from seeding a fund or participating in initial public offerings.

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StJohn Gardner

Arbuthnot Latham

StJohn Gardner is head of investment management and co-chief investment officer at Arbuthnot Latham, where he also sits on the private bank’s executive committee.

Gardner joined Arbuthnot in 2005, taking on his current expanded role in 2011. During his time at the firm, he has overhauled its investment management division and established a range of new services, including the introduction of a collective investment team and a series of risk-graded funds for clients.

He started his career in 1987, initially working at Lloyd’s of London, moving between a number of its different agencies, providing fund selection services for high net worth individuals.

He went on to complete an MBA at Cranfield School of Management in 1997, before joining Finsbury Asset Manager, leaving two years later to move to Merrill Lynch Investment Managers’ managed funds team.

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Andrew Gilbert

Parmenion Capital Partners

Andrew Gilbert started his career in the industry straight after university, when he joined Rathbone Greenbank as an investment assistant. A few months later he moved to Parmenion Capital in an analyst role and it was not long before he approached his employers with an idea for an ethical proposition. Less than two years later, the firm launched its socially responsible and ethical portfolio range.

Now aged just 27, Gilbert has been an investment manager at the firm since 2014. He also chairs the ethical oversight committee and has co-management responsibilities of £2.6 billion of assets. Together with his investment team, they determine which funds they will select through monthly reviews of three investment committees: investment oversight, ethical oversight, and investment risk.

Every year since 2014, Parmenion’s ethical assets under management have doubled, rising from £21.7 million to £55.3 million in 2015, then on to £110.7 million as of August 2016.

On the whole, the firm’s buy list has nearly 250 positions, reviewed on a monthly basis using an extensive quantitative screening process, as well as ongoing manager meetings throughout the year. Some 55% of the buy list features passively-managed funds and another 38% is in active ones. Gilbert says Parmenion’s biggest fund provider is Vanguard, with Miton being the boutique it allocates most to.

He cites Liontrust Sustainable Future UK Growth, run by Peter Michaelis, as his hidden gem fund pick.

Artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming part of the firm’s investment process, Gilbert adds. ‘Our quantitative screening process helps us to focus our time on those managers who consistently add value on a risk-adjusted basis.’

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Esther Gilbert

Investec Wealth & Investment

Fixed income analyst Esther Gilbert argues that competition from passive and ETF providers, the consolidation of firms, as well as increasing economies of scale will continue to drive down annual management charges.

Currently, her firm pays 0.75% on average for active equity funds and 0.6% for active bond funds. She says that fees remain high for semi-active management, she also cites her biggest investment gripes as closet tracker funds and ‘a lack of differentiation between product providers’.

Gilbert started her career as a fixed income fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management and moved into fund of funds management in 2010. She spent three years as part of Axa Investment Managers’ external managers group, where she worked on both retail and institutional mandates. After joining Investec in July 2015, she became responsible for fixed income fund selection.

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Mick Gilligan

Killik & Co

After starting his career at John Lamb Partnership in the late 1990s, Mick Gilligan joined Killik & Co in 2001. Six years on, Gilligan became a fully-fledged partner and departmental head within the firm, which manages £5.5 billion in client assets.

Gilligan has responsibilities that reach beyond just fund buying, including input into Killik & Co’s model portfolio service and sitting on the firm’s investment committee.

Alternatives have become an increasing focus for Gilligan over the past 12 months, coinciding with him gently reducing his exposure to equity-based funds. One of the ways Gilligan is tapping into the alternatives universe is through the latest addition to his buy list, Winton Absolute Return Futures.

What Gilligan describes as the real hidden gem of his buy list is the large closed-ended investment trust, Syncona, which is dedicated to life science investments, notably companies battling cancer and genetic diseases.

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Sam Grant-Dalton

Close Brothers Asset Management

Close Brothers Asset Management’s (CBAM) Sam Grant-Dalton says he is happy to ‘pay up’ for managers who can demonstrate consistent long-term outperformance.

‘The crucial question is whether a fund manager stacks up relative to peers, benchmarks and our own expectations, net of all fees and charges,’ he says.

‘Whilst we do place a good deal of importance on costs, we are happy to “pay up” for managers who are able to demonstrate specific experience and expertise in their own geography or asset class over the long term.’

Grant-Dalton co-manages the Close Managed range of funds and is also a member of CBAM’s manager research, multi-asset class and asset allocation committees.

He joined the company in 2010, having previously worked in hedge funds in Hong Kong. A CFA charterholder, he covers the full spectrum of funds and cites Sloane Robinson Emerging Markets as his hidden gem fund pick.

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John Goodall

WH Ireland

WH Ireland’s John Goodall started his career trading futures for Spreadex before moving to Tilney’s investment management team in 2005. He spent two years at the company before being tempted over to WH Ireland, joining its private client team as head of research.

The wealth manager has a fairly compact buy list of 91 funds, of which 45 are actively managed unitised funds and 35 are investment trusts. Goodall says it has been and continues to be streamlined, but two recent additions have been the Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon and BNY Mellon US Equity Income funds.

He cites predicting that the UK will peak in mid-2017 (‘so far, so good with this one!’) and not moving out of fixed income as his best investment calls of the year. He also names the Royal London Corporate Bond fund, managed by Jonathan Platt, as his hidden gem.

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Jon Gumpel

Brooks Macdonald Asset Management

Jon Gumpel started his career in investment management in 1986, before going on to become a founding director of Brooks Macdonald, which now has over £10 billion of assets under management, in 1991.

As one of the investment directors responsible for overseeing its investment management strategy, Gumpel watches over the firm’s 300-strong buy list and runs its £400 million Defensive Capital fund with his mantra being ‘to combine outright performance with risk adjusted performance’.

Having been in the industry for over 30 years, it comes as little surprise that Gumpel’s biggest personal pet peeve is something investment related. His bugbear is the banning of sector averages as a comparator for the absolute return sector. ‘Using sector averages helps – how else are people to put a fund’s performance into context?’ he queries.

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Ben Gutteridge

Brewin Dolphin

As well as proving himself a dab hand at fund selection, Ben Gutteridge is also a radio talent, hosting the award winning Brewin Podcast. If you are lucky enough to be invited onto the show, heed this warning: Gutteridge’s pet peeve is extended or monologue style answers from the show’s guests.

Gutteridge, who became head of fund research in 2010, prepared for his investment career with a mathematics degree from Loughborough University. He has worked up to his current position since 2003, when he joined Brewin Dolphin as a fund analyst.

The most recent fund to be added to the firm’s 258-strong buy list is the Baillie Gifford American fund. He names his hidden gem fund as Gateway to India, run by Ocean Dial.

Gutteridge’s team seeds funds and he says he looks for ‘return potential, competency of manager and team, liquidity demands and appropriate charging’, which is not a major departure from his typical process.

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Bambos Hambi

Standard Life Investments

Bambos Hambi, head of fund of funds at Aberdeen Standard, is no stranger to seeding funds. When looking out for new opportunities, he follows his four Ps fund selection methodology: ‘philosophy, process, people and price.’

Hambi’s investment career has spanned 39 years. He had stints at Legal & General, Quilter, Rothschild Asset Management, Insight Investment Management and Gartmore Investment Management. Prior to joining Standard Life Investments (SLI) in March 2011, he was a multi-manager consultant and independent fund expert for three years. At SLI, which has recently merged with Aberdeen Asset Management, Hambi heads the MyFolio team which runs 25 fund of funds. He personally oversees £16 billion of assets.

And what about Hambi’s pet peeves? Looking at the industry, his biggest gripe is the continual increase in regulations, while on a personal level, trains really get his goat.

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Anna Haugaard

Brewin Dolphin

Looking back on this year, Anna Haugaard says choosing European small companies over large caps has been her best investment call. The fund analyst explains that the call was helped considerably by the strength of the euro this year. ‘Smaller companies are more domestically-oriented and therefore less impacted by a less competitive currency.’

Within Brewin Dolphin’s buy-list, the number of alternative and absolute return sector products have increased the most.

Haugaard began her fund research career at Quilter in 2009. She then joined Brewin Dolphin in 2014 where her day-to-day responsibilities involve analysing equity funds. Prior to this she was based in Australia where she worked for Deutsche Bank subsidiary, Wilson HTM Australia Broking.

Her personal pet peeve is that it is impossible to buy a ‘diet-sized’ slice of cake. She just wants a taste of it, so if you want to make Haugaard happy, invent diet cake!

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James Hawkes

Coutts

‘The large contingent of active managers that do not take enough active risk’ is James Hawkes’ pet peeve, when it comes to investment.

He started his career at a proprietary trading firm, investing in short-term interest rate and commodity futures, before making the switch into wealth management, joining Cumberland Place Financial Management as an investment analyst. Hawkes moved over to Coutts in 2015, where he is an associate director with fund research responsibilities. He also assists with fund selection for the private bank’s model portfolio service.

Despite Coutts’ chunky £17.9 billion of assets under management, Hawkes still backs a number of boutiques, with Polar Capital, Algebris and Morant Wright all having two funds apiece on the firm’s buy list.

Invesco Perpetual European Equity was the latest addition, but he cites being overweight in financial credit as his best investment call this year.

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Charles Hepworth

GAM

A degree in biotechnology might not be the standard for an investment manager, but after his studies at Leeds University, Charles Hepworth decided to manage money and started his career at SG Warburg in 1991.

Afterwards, he took on the role of deputy fund manager at Albert E Sharp, later moving over to Quilter as an assistant fund manager in 1994. He then became responsible for running the managed portfolio service as group director, prior to joining GAM in 2012.

Now an investment director in the Multi Asset Class Solutions team, Hepworth is also a member of its asset allocation committee, as well as holding a seat on the investment committee. Personally he runs £1 billion in assets.

He says there is limited client demand to apply ESG criteria and believes it is still too early to adopt automation or artificial intelligence as part of his investment process.

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Matt Hoggarth

Thesis Asset Management

Despite Brexit and the outcome of the general election creating uncertainty and tension, Thesis Asset Management’s Matt Hoggarth kept faith with UK equities this year and says it has paid off.

This is part be thanks to the firm’s in-house UK equity selection process, which the head of research says has delivered top quartile performance over the past three and five years.

As the deadline for the implementation of Mifid II approaches, Hoggarth says he is still making plans in this area. ‘Since most of our research is generated in-house, it is most likely we will be very targeted in what we buy externally,’ he says. ‘What we do buy will probably be funded from our profit and loss account.’

Hoggarth joined Thesis in 2005 after graduating with a master’s in international relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. He has led Thesis’s Chichester research team since 2011.

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Paul Hookway

Kleinwort Hambros

Paul Hookway started his career at Kleinwort Benson (now Kleinwort Hambros) as a portfolio manager. In his 13-year tenure, Hookway has managed two funds of funds, KB Enterprise Income and KB Enterprise Growth. Currently, he also runs the KB Enterprise Equity Income and a fund of UK equity funds.

Hookway is somewhat of a champion of active management, saying that the ‘endless cries’ of some fund pickers that active managers do not add value ‘is just not true.’ He adds that managers that generate alpha may be hard to find in some markets, ‘but they are there’.

One fund Hookway deems a hidden gem is Hermes’ Asia ex Japan fund, run by Citywire AAA-rated Jonathan Pines.

Although his equity buy list has remained fairly static over the past year, one fund he has added is Loomis Sayles US Growth, managed by Citywire AA-rated manager Aziz Hamzaogullari.

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James Horniman

James Hambro & Partners

James Horniman joined James Hambro & Partners from UBS Wealth Management, where he spent five years working as a portfolio manager and team leader in its UK domestic business. At the time, he was responsible for managing assets of £500 million and now, at James Hambro & Partners, he oversees £600 million.

Prior to joining UBS, Horniman spent over five years at HSBC Investment Management, where he served as a director and team leader in its UK private client business. During his time at HSBC, Horniman was also a member of its UK equity team and sat on the investment policy committee.

In his spare time and ‘as an antidote to the rigours of industry regulation,’ Horniman writes creative fiction and is currently trying to find a publisher for his first novel, which centres around the experience of a jury for a murder trial at the Old Bailey.

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Julian Howard

GAM

As head of multi-asset solutions at GAM, Julian Howard manages around $1.6 billion of investments across equities, bonds and alternatives. Aside from fund selection, he is responsible for strategic and tactical asset allocation, and sits on the investment committee.

After completing a history degree at Bristol University, he went into investment management and held a variety of roles at Henderson Global Investors, Insight Investment, Invesco Perpetual and then JP Morgan Investment Management. He joined GAM in March 2007.

On seeding funds, he says he looks for ‘manager record, strength of process, size and reputation of house’. He adds: ‘GAM has a long history of involvement in new funds at an early stage in their lifecycle.’

He makes sure to use active funds only where they can make a real difference, pointing out that his selection of active managers in Europe, emerging markets and Japan has outperformed this year.

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Bo Huang

Tilney

Bo Huang is a portfolio manager at Tilney, where she oversees over £6 billion in funds under advice across equities, alternatives, alternative Ucits and mixed assets in Asia. While this is no small task, she is also part of the Tilney investment committee and contributes to its model portfolios.

Where investments are involved, Huang is a stickler for in-depth analysis and decision making based on sound evidence. In a similar vein, she has grown weary of industry professionals voicing investment opinions that are based primarily on gut feelings.

Huang believes Tilney receives good value for money with regards to annual management charges, but nonetheless expects them to fall due to the rise of passive and smart beta funds.

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Lynn Hutchinson

Charles Stanley

A senior analyst focusing on passive investments, Lynn Hutchinson started out at Cantrade, which subsequently became Sarasin Chiswell, in 1992, before moving to Evercore Pan Asset in 2006.

She says that back in those days when the exchanged traded fund (ETF) market in Europe was small, the firm was involved in a number of new product launches.

Pan Asset was acquired by Charles Stanley in 2013, where Hutchinson now oversees the firm’s passive investment buy list.

The ETF market has developed considerably since her early days, which is underlined by some of the more specialist products that Hutchinson has been adding to the company’s ETF buy list. Around 15% of Charles Stanley’s £24 billion of assets under management is held in passive strategies.

She cites ETF Securities’ Robotics & Automation ETF, which launched in 2014, as her best investment call this year (see graph), with a US financials sector ETF, the latest addition to the buy list.

When selecting a passive vehicle, she says that ensuring it has an ‘appropriate index and a good number of market makers involved in the product to keep trading spreads narrow’ is essential, adding that the product being from ‘a well-known provider always helps when being involved in seeding the launch’.

In terms of pricing points around ETFs, Hutchinson says: ‘I do feel the passive market is good value for money in the majority of products.’

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Luke Hyde-Smith

Waverton Investment Management

As head of third party fund selection at Waverton Investment Management, Luke Hyde-Smith analyses a broad range of investments across Europe, Asia, the US, Latin America, Japan and the rest of the world.

Having joined Waverton in February 2017, Hyde-Smith presently manages £150 million of the firm’s £5.2 billion in funds under management. He feels that his best investment decision this year was to increase active exposure, having previously given a higher weighting to passive strategies. He is also happy with his decision to remain overweight emerging markets, and to increase investment exposure to technology.

Waverton seeds funds, and when doing so, Hyde-Smith prefers to invest in funds run by a manager with an exemplary track record, who is not simply gathering assets. He also seeks owner-managed investment firms, on the basis that this will provide a closer alignment of interests.

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Tom Jemmett

Brewin Dolphin

As a fund analyst, it’s perhaps no coincidence that Tom Jemmett’s top investment gripe is the same as his top personal pet peeve – lack of skin in the game, or fund managers pitching a fund with no personal investment in it.

Responsible for UK equity and sector focused collective investment recommendations at Brewin Dolphin, Jemmett has spent a number of years in analyst positions. He joined the company in 2008 and prior to this, he was a performance and risk analyst at Russell/Mellon Analytical Solutions (formerly CAPS). Jemmett previously worked at BlackRock in the risk and quantitative analyst team and has successfully obtained his IMC qualification.

Jemmett’s best recent investment call has been moving from the US into Europe early in the year.

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Chady Jouni

Barclays Wealth & Investment Management

It has been a year of conviction for the multi-manager team at Barclays Wealth & Investment Management. Chady Jouni says: ‘The fund list has been reduced to focus on the best ideas.’ The latest fund to be added to the firm’s buy list was Invesco Perpetual European Equites. He names Hermes’ Jonathan Pines as his hidden gem fund manager.

Jouni is head of equity research for third party funds whilst also fulfilling the role of senior portfolio manager. He runs the Asia, Emerging Markets and European Equities Global Access funds and also co-manages the bank’s multi-asset fund range.

Jouni’s career kicked off at Bfinance as a fund analyst, selecting funds for UK and European institutional clients. Following this he had a stint at Barings’ multi-asset team overseeing equity multi-manager funds.

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Ernst Knacke

Quilter Cheviot

Having spent the first years of his career as an analyst at investment banks including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, Ernst Knacke joined Quilter Cheviot’s collectives research team following the integration of the company into Old Mutual Wealth. Previously he had been part of the multi-asset team at Old Mutual Global Investors for eight years.

Knacke, who dislikes diversification just for the sake of it, says his best investment call in the past year was increasing exposure to growth equities in late 2016 and early 2017.

While he believes he is currently getting good value for money, paying 0.75% and 0.40% average AMCs for active equity and bond funds respectively, he expects this rate to fall overall. This, he says, will be due to the ease of access to capital markets, pressure from passives and the continued presence of below average funds in the market.

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Alena Kosava

Tilney

A St Petersburg native, Alena Kosava moved to London 15 years ago to study at the University of Westminster. Twelve years, a first class honours degree in business management and finance, a distinction masters in investment and quant finance, and a CFA later she joined Tilney Group, where she is now a director on its central investment team.

Of the firm’s £23 billion assets under management, Kosava oversees £7 billion, focusing on equities and alternatives. Given that size, Kosava says she is looking to reduce the overall level of fees for fund charges, which she does not believe are good value for money – the average annual management charge paid for equity funds is 0.75%.

To help achieve this, Tilney is reducing its buy list following a number of acquisitions in 2016, including the purchase of Towry.

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Ben Kumar

Seven Investment Management

Ben Kumar was the first graduate Seven Investment Management (7IM) ever hired, after proving himself during a work experience placement at the company. Kumar graduated from University of Bristol with a BSc in mathematics and philosophy. He joined 7IM in 2010 and works on its multi-manager range of funds. He also assists senior investment manager Peter Sleep on exchange-traded funds and passives.

In a previous interview with Wealth Manager, when asked why he went into investment management following a degree in philosophy, Kumar said: ‘I like trying to solve things that don’t necessarily have an answer – something that comes from my background in philosophy,’ while also admitting that he always suspected he would go into finance in some way or another.

A CFA charterholder, and a keen amateur hockey player, Kumar is also a regular commentator on Reuters, Bloomberg and the BBC.

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