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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.

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.

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’.

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.’

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.’

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.’

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.

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.

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.

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.’

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.

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.

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’.

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.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.’

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.’

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Eric Louw

Standard Life Wealth

Eric Louw dislikes the scramble for faddy products based on short-term trends just as much as he dislikes the scramble for overhead luggage space on a short haul flight.

The Standard Life Wealth senior investment manager oversees £3 billion of the firm’s £6.8 billion assets under advice, analysing funds across equities, bonds and property worldwide. He covers actively managed unitised funds, in which 95% of the firm’s assets under management are allocated. The most recent addition to his buy list is Neuberger Berman Emerging Market Debt Local Currency.

Joining Standard Life Wealth in 2007 when the business was set up, Louw says his role within the company has grown to include responsibility for running target return portfolios for private clients and leading the target return managed portfolio service. He is also a member of the firm’s investment committee.

Jim Mackie

Brooks Macdonald Asset Management

As part of a team managing around 10% of Brooks Macdonald’s total assets under management, investment director Jim Mackie covers UK and European equities and is an advocate of boutique fund houses. He believes this is a prime opportunity to ‘tap into their specialist capabilities and allow for greater operational risk diversification’.

Mackie has not seen any significant changes in the economic backdrop over the last year to prompt major changes to the buy list and he puts this down to being long term investors. However, he has made certain asset allocation moves and is averse to selling purely down to the hard or soft closure of a fund.

He has been at Brooks Macdonald since 2014, co-manging the managed portfolio service and multi-asset fund range. With almost 20 years’ financial services experience, Mackie is also a chartered member of the Charted Institute for Securities & Investment.

Reshma Moloo

Citi Private Bank

Reshma Moloo has worked all over the world with her finance career starting at Frank Russell Company, where she was a technical analyst within the firm’s manager research team based in Sydney, Australia for two years between 1999 and 2000. A graduate of Macquarie University in Sydney, where she obtained a masters in applied finance in economics and investments, Moloo moved from Frank Russell to ING US Financial Services’ Los Angeles office. She spent six years there working as a senior investment analyst within its manager research team.

She joined Citi Private Bank’s global managed investments team in September 2010 where she now serves as a senior manager research analyst and sits on its investment committee. At the private bank, she is responsible for equity and alternative investment fund manager selection.

Alex Marshall-Tate

Citi Private Bank

Alex Marshall-Tate wears a number of hats at Citi Private Bank EMEA, where he is head of traditional investments research, a senior research analyst and strategy head for alternative mutual funds.

In his role running the traditional investments research team, he is responsible for overseeing third party manager research and selection for both the bank’s open architecture advisory fund platform and its discretionary proposition. This involves monitoring and evolving Citi’s 303-strong fund buy list, which comprises 285 actively managed unitised funds and 18 alternative Ucits vehicles.

Marshall-Tate has now been at Citi for 11 years, joining in 2006 from Morgan Stanley, where he initially worked as a manager research analyst, before becoming a portfolio manager within Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management’s discretionary multi-manager team.

Looking forward, he expects active management fees to continue to fall as we move into a lower return environment at a time of increased competition from passive strategies.

James McDaid

GAM

After spending five years at GAM as an investment manager and a member of its Multi Asset Class Solutions team, James McDaid now personally runs assets of £1.1 billion. Prior to joining the company, he worked as an investment manager at Quilter, where he managed private client portfolios.

Over the last 12 months, he says that the firm’s buy list has evolved to encompass a wider range of funds in all asset classes. As a result, while actively managed unitised funds make up over 100 products on the buy list, it now also features ETFs, smart beta products, alternative Ucits and alternatives.

The most recent addition to the buy list has been the RWC Global Emerging Markets fund and he says emerging markets in general have been his best investment call this year.

James McGuire

UBS

James McGuire is an executive director at UBS, covering actively managed unitised funds across the globe. He entered the industry in 1984, joining UBS in 1999. In his current role, his analysis covers equities and bonds.

McGuire would like to see the fund industry devote more time to defining investment strategies, and accordingly use benchmarks that are more relevant. In line with this, he insists that value equity managers should use a value benchmark, if available, when making performance comparisons. He thinks that the arrival of Mifid II provides even greater reason for fund managers to be in tune with client suitability requirements.

As part of his role, McGuire also sits on UBS’s investment committee. At the end of 2016, the firm had £1.5 trillion in assets under management.

Will McIntosh-Whyte

Rathbones

At Rathbones, Will McIntosh-Whyte is an assistant multi-asset fund manager and has responsibility for £700 million in assets under management. Aside from a brief spell working for shipping finance company Theisen Securities as a researcher, McIntosh-Whyte has spent almost his entire career at Rathbones, joining in April 2007 after graduating from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 2006.

One of the funds he co-manages is the £312 million Rathbone Multi-Asset Strategic Growth Portfolio, alongside Citywire AAA-rated David Coombs.

Rathbones recently launched a managed portfolio service for clients of financial advisers, which invests in the multi-asset funds run by McIntosh-Whyte and Coombs.

He is a CFA charterholder and chairs Rathbones’ managed funds and fixed income committee. He adds that his biggest investment gripe is confirmation bias.

Nicolas Moussavi

Lyxor Asset Management

More than a decade after kick-starting his career, Nicolas Moussavi is now Lyxor’s head of mutual fund research, with €30.5 billion (£28.1 billion) in assets under advice. He joined the firm as a senior fund analyst and portfolio manager in 2009, and was promoted to his current position in 2014. He had previously spent more than four years at SGAM Alternative Investments where he was in charge of selecting and analysing underlying funds for structured products.

The vast majority of positions in Lyxor’s 200-strong buy list are in actively managed funds. Moussavi says the good value for money he is getting for active fund charges is down to the team’s selection process.

‘We consider it acceptable for a standard European equities fund to charge fees of 60bps to 80bps and for small boutiques with proven track records of adding value over time to charge higher fees.’

Shakhista Mukhamedova

Brewin Dolphin

Since joining Brewin Dolphin in 2010, research analyst Shakhista Mukhamedova has constantly been expanding the areas she covers. Initially covering structured products, she soon extended this to include passives and index plus investments. She now covers even more – incorporating the whole range of fixed income and property funds into her research realm. Alongside this, she also evaluates individual bonds.

With £39.2 billion assets under management and over 200 funds on Brewin Dolphin’s buy list, Mukhamedova no doubt stays busy. This buy list is gradually expanding, and the firm has increased exposure to alternatives and the absolute return sector.

When it comes to seeding funds, she will happily consider this if she has conviction in the manager’s ability to deliver consistent outperformance and satisfaction of certain requirements.

Simon Nicholas

Brown Shipley

Simon Nicholas has a wealth of experience up his sleeve, following a number of years at Aberdeen Asset Management and Cazenove Fund Management prior to joining Brown Shipley in 2010.

This has put him in fine stead to lead the management of Brown Shipley’s five multi-asset funds. In 2015, senior fund manager Nicholas was also appointed to manage parent company KBL’s Key Fund North America.

Nicholas is responsible for third party fund selection at Brown Shipley and sits on its asset allocation committee at a local UK level. Within this, his hidden gem is DNCA Invest Miura, a long/short absolute return fund.

The Royal London Ethical Bond fund makes the cut as the most recent addition to his buy list, with Nicholas quoting client feedback as the reason for implementing ESG criteria into his investment process.

Georgios Nikolaou

Thomas Miller Investment

Georgios Nikolaou joined Thomas Miller Investment in 2015 from Generation Partners where he had previously worked as a portfolio analyst. The investment analyst focuses particularly on research in the alternatives sector in the UK, Europe and the US, in which he has 60 products on his buy list and seven alternative Ucits funds.

This list has extended by 15 names over the past 12 months, including the addition of RAM Lux Systematic Funds – Long/Short Global Equities. When considering funds such as these, Nikolaou says he avoids people who use excessive jargon or sales speak when trying to sell their products.

Nikolaou has a finance and investment MSc from the University of Durham, an economics BSc from the University of Athens and is a CFA charterholder.

Ashley Northgrave

Butterfield Bank

Citing being overweight in healthcare sectors as his best investment call this year, Ashley Northgrave also argues that certain geographic areas are better for active management, in particular Europe and emerging markets.

With a varied history to support him, Northgrave joined Butterfield Bank in 2016. He has 20 years’ experience across the wider industry, from investment banking to fund management and private banking. He started specialising in investment management in 2005. At Butterfield, he dedicates his time to active discretionary management, and covers equities and bonds plus passive ETFs and active equity funds. Northgrave manages £150 million in assets personally.

Butterfield’s buy list has evolved over the last 12 months through the addition of US small and mid cap strategies, with Northgrave revealing the Hermes US Small and Midcap fund as the most recent addition.

Prior to joining Butterfield, Northgrave was a board director at RBC Investments and RBC Offshore Fund Managers.

Justin Oliver

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management

Now almost a veteran, Justin Oliver has been at Canaccord Genuity for 17 years. As deputy chief investment officer, he gives direct assistance to the chief investment officer Michel Perera, who was recruited from JP Morgan in February.

Oliver’s responsibilities include contributing to the investment philosophy, process and methodology, and acting as an alternate to the CIO. He is also chairman of the portfolio construction committee. In addition, he sits on the asset allocation and fund selection committees and manages a number of Canaccord Genuity’s Select range of funds.

Oliver joined the company in 2000 from Kleinwort Benson, where he established its fund of funds investment service.

Canaccord Genuity currently has £15.3 billion in assets under management, according to its results for the quarter to 30 June, and the acquisition of Hargreave Hale is expected to take this up to £23 billion.

Rob Oliver

JP Morgan

Rob Oliver joined JP Morgan as part of the firm’s graduate scheme during the financial crisis in 2008. Since then, he has moved across to JP Morgan’s private bank, spending three years within its international funds product management team, prior to joining the manager selection team, and becoming a vice president in July 2012.

Currently based in London, Oliver’s remit extends from covering UK equity funds through to alternative Ucits, passive investments and physical property. The area Oliver also covers stretches globally, giving him an incredibly wide investment universe.

Oliver holds a degree in economics, finance and banking from the University of Portsmouth, certificates in financial derivatives and securities from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, and is partway through studying to become a CFA charterholder.

Edward Park

Brooks Macdonald AM

Edward Park joined Brooks Macdonald as a trainee investment manager in 2009 after graduating from Oxford University. After promptly qualifying as an investment manager, he rose through the ranks and increasingly started working on the firm’s centralised investment proposition, joining the investment committee alongside maintaining his private client relationships.

Park says that sustaining client relationships is ‘essential’ in making sure the investment philosophy really caters to the end client; he personally manages £88 million of the firm’s assets under management.

He explains how automated systems and processes across the firm helps free the team up to focus on qualitative research and client service, alongside allowing them to vastly increase the investment universe they can monitor. If your fund has had a poor run of performance though, make sure you communicate any strategy changes appropriately – insufficiently communicated changes are his biggest investment bugbear.

Stacey Parrinder-Johnson

Investec Wealth & Investment

Stacy Parrinder-Johnson started her investment career 12 years ago when she joined Investec’s fund management team in Leeds. Before that she held a variety of roles across business management projects in the UK and France, even working at a European political advocacy group at one point. After her stint in Leeds, she packed her bags once again and moved to London to join the research team as a fund selection specialist in July 2013.

The majority of the firm’s buy list is in actively managed unitised funds, some 223 products, while there is only a single passively managed fund and a solitary smart beta product.

However, over the last 12 months, Parrinder-Johnson says the number of alternative strategies has increased, while the most recent addition has been the Neuberger Berman Uncorrelated Strategies fund. Her hidden gem is the RobecoSAM Smart Materials fund.

Michael Paul

Brewin Dolphin

Cyclists be told – Michael Paul’s pet peeve is those who do not obey the rules of the road. And speaking of rules, he is also not keen on the common investment perception about bonds being in a bubble.

‘They might be expensive, but bubbles are characterised by investors being enthusiastic on the asset, overweight it, and have the belief that the high returns will continue indefinitely; everyone hates bonds, no one is overweight, and they are priced in terms of their yield (which we know is very low)’, Paul explains.

Paul is responsible for Asian, Japanese and absolute return investment recommendations at Brewin Dolphin, as well as managing structured product research. He joined the company in 2014 as a fund analyst, following time as an investment manager at City Asset Management. Prior to this, he studied economics at the University of Bath. He is also a CFA charterholder and has completed the IMC.

Stephen Peters

Barclays Wealth & Investment Management

Make sure you do not mistakenly call this multi-manager fund analyst Peter as opposed to Stephen, as he confesses this is his biggest pet hate. On the investment side, Stephen Peters’ gripe is the conflation of luck when it comes to poor performance versus outperformance.

Peters joined Barclays in October 2016 from Charles Stanley, where he worked on the central research team, carrying out fund research and running funds of funds management, for nine years. He cut his teeth in the industry spending two years at an IFA, followed by four years as an investment consultant at Hewitt Associates.

In his current position, he analyses equities and alternatives funds within the UK and Europe. He is also the named portfolio manager for UK equity multi-manager funds and oversees the UK component of discretionary portfolios. He personally runs £1.9 billion in the UK multi-manager range.

Richard Philbin

Wellian Investment Solutions

Richard Philbin, chief investment officer at Wellian Investment Solutions, brings over 20 years’ experience to his role, having entered the industry in 1994. Philbin has a broad range of responsibilities besides fund research, sitting on the investment committee, managing private clients, having input into Wellian’s model portfolios and running several fund of funds portfolios.

Philbin has been implementing ESG and ethical considerations within his investment process, as he believes it is a logical step to ‘do good’. He also notes that automation is increasingly becoming a part of the process as it reduces the risk created by ‘fat fingers’, and aligns interests and portfolios more appropriately.

Wellian currently pays an average annual management charge of 0.75% for active equity funds, and 0.4% for active bond funds. Philbin does not believe this represents value for money though, and expects charges to fall due to regulatory pressure, as well as Wellian’s increasing bargaining power.

Edward Raymond

Julius Baer

Head of portfolio management for Julius Baer in the UK, Edward Raymond has an almost 700-strong buy list to work with and manages around £5.1 billion in client assets.

‘Over the last 12 months, we have further enriched our offering by adding alternative Ucits funds. On the other side, some of the recommendations were downgraded due to manager changes or soft/hard-closing,’ he said.

Raymond started his career in 1994 at HSBC Global Asset Management, before moving on to head Merrill Lynch Portfolio Managers’ UK team.

Due to his wide remit, he tends to invest across both the larger fund houses, such as BlackRock, JPMorgan or Franklin Templeton, but he also singles out Magellanes, Principal and Polar Capital as boutique names he backs.

Delyth Richards

Kleinwort Hambros

Delyth Richards took on the role of head of investment solutions at Kleinwort Hambros, renamed as such following the merger between Société Générale Private Bank and Kleinwort Benson, in January 2016.

Previously she was head of fund research at Kleinwort Benson, initially joining the firm in 2007 as head of real estate advisory.

In her current role, she is responsible for the management of the firm’s multi-asset funds, as well as the oversight of the bank’s product governance process. She sits on the firm’s investment policy, collective investment selection and investment oversight committees. In addition, she is also a member of the bank’s operating and new product committees.

Prior to Kleinwort, she worked as a structured finance specialist at Citibank. After graduating with first class honours from the University of Durham, where she studied geography, she completed a masters in property law and valuation at Cass Business School.

Caspar Rock

Cazenove Capital

With a global outlook, overseeing a broad range of asset types, Caspar Rock holds a significant position as the chief investment officer at Cazenove Capital. He joined the business in September 2016, having previously held the same role at Architas Multi Manager. Part of the investment committee, he brings almost 30 years’ investment experience to the role, and plays a part in developing model portfolios.

Reflecting on 2017 so far, Rock believes his best investment call has been to hedge currency risk in Cazenove’s US fixed income exposure in January 2017, close to the peak of the dollar rally.

In the past 12 months, Rock reports a degree of consolidation in his buy list, but does not indicate preference for any particular fund house. Instead, he prefers to spread investment across a range of boutiques.

Cazenove currently handles £43.6 billion in assets under management across the firm.

Steven Rooke

Cazenove Capital

Steven Rooke joined Cazenove Capital in 2005 from State Street Bank, beginning his tenure in the private client department before moving to the discretionary fund management team that works exclusively with IFAs. Rooke now holds the role of portfolio manager, analysing equities and investment vehicles, including actively managed unitised funds and investment trusts.

Rooke also manages Cazenove’s model portfolio service, having established the models which were launched in July 2016. At the start of the third quarter of 2017, Cazenove launched a further five active and passive models. He is also a member of the UK, US and global equity asset class committees.

Taking a look back at this year’s investment decisions, Rooke is pleased with the call to increase weighting to Asia and emerging markets following the US election. He also reflects positively on the idea to buy the TR Property investment trust when Cazenove launched its MPS models, a week after the EU referendum.

Michael Rosenthal

Signia Wealth

After 20 years of experience in investment management, Michael Rosenthal has worked his way up the career ladder and was recently appointed chief investment officer at Signia Wealth. Previously head of hedge fund investments at the firm, he joined Signia in 2013 from Amundi Alternative Asset Management, the hedge fund subsidiary jointly created by Société Générale and Crédit Agricole.

Prior to joining Signia, Rosenthal spent 11 years at Amundi, where he was global co-head of investment and head of the firm’s London office. During this time, hedge fund assets under management grew from $1.2 billion (£930 million) to $28 billion (£21.7 billion). Before joining Amundi, Rosenthal was a portfolio manager for five years at JP Morgan Investment Management, where he managed Asian equity portfolios and a Japan long/short equity hedge fund.

David Saab

JP Morgan

David Saab, JP Morgan’s global head of fixed income and absolute return funds, which includes overseeing 40 vehicles, joined the firm in 2011.

Before JP Morgan, where he is also a managing director, he worked as a portfolio manager at Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild.

While there, he headed Edmond de Rothschild’s fixed income and absolute return fund research, in addition to running its broader multi-manager team and developing the firm’s expertise in high yield, leveraged loans and emerging market debt.

Saab was also a member of the investment committee at Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild Europe, where he built tailored asset allocation solutions for high net worth clients.

In some ways Saab is back where he started, given he began his career at JP Morgan, working on its Masterswap desk. Saab holds a masters degree in finance from Audencia Nantes Business School.

Elizabeth Savage

Rathbones

Elizabeth Savage is head of research at Rathbones. When she joined the firm in 2005, it was initially to undertake independent research into funds of hedge funds and structured products. She previously worked at Progressive Alternative Investments, a fund of hedge funds, as a graduate trainee and subsequently became a hedge fund analyst.

Promoted to head of research in 2014, Savage is responsible for overseeing the research function and recommendations made by the investment committees. She is a member of Rathbones’ investment executive committee. She has also co-managed the Rathbone Multi-Asset Portfolio range with head of multi-asset investments David Coombs and assistant fund manager and senior research analyst Mona Shah.

Savage graduated from Newcastle University with a BA in geography in 2001 and holds the chartered alternative investment analyst designation.

Melissa Scaramellini

Quilter Cheviot

Melissa Scaramellini has spent the majority of her career at Quilter Cheviot after joining the firm in October 2006, following five years at Schroder Investment Management. Her role at Quilter Cheviot is to scout out ‘best of breed’ collective investments to be held in client portfolios, as well as carrying out due diligence on funds in which the firm has invested.

Scaramellini chairs the firm’s alternatives committee, where they decide which funds to hold in the alternatives basket in client portfolios. She is also a member of the investment funds committee and contributes to the discussion around model fund holdings. The assets under advice of the fund research team stand at £13.2 billion, while the firm manages £22.5 billion of client assets in total.

Ben Seager-Scott

Tilney

With a doctorate in biochemistry, Ben Seager-Scott started his career, perhaps unsurprisingly, researching biotechnology equities. Now chief investment strategist at Tilney, his remit has expanded to include analysing bonds, alternatives, mixed assets, property and commodities around the world.

Having a broad outlook suits Seager-Scott well, who says his biggest investment gripe is short-termism and the focus on trades in isolation rather than as part of a wider strategy. He works across the Tilney Group developing and implementing the house investment strategy, including passive beta strategies. Overweighting European equities, adding to emerging market equities and underweighting the US this year has paid off, he adds.

A CFA charterholder, Seager-Scott joined Bestinvest in 2011 as a senior fund analyst from Bristol-based Whitechurch Securities. He is a member of the asset allocation, fund selection and stock selection committees.

Mona Shah

Rathbones

Head of collectives research at Rathbones, Mona Shah joined the firm 10 years ago after graduating from the University of Bristol. She has a decade of experience in manager selection across long-only, hedge funds, ETFs and structured products.

In her role, she is responsible for fund selection and due diligence across a range of the firm’s long-only and alternative investment strategies. When seeding funds, Shah says she looks for those with ‘an edge’ and ideally a ‘relevant track record somewhere to refer to’ as well as other operational factors.

Shah sits on Rathbones’ collectives research and strategic asset allocation committees, which pluck out ‘best of breed’ funds to be held in client portfolios, and also assists the Rathbone Multi-Asset Portfolios team with their collectives’ investments.

Peter Sleep

Seven Investment Management

Peter Sleep is an industry stalwart, and has been at Seven Investment Management for 10 years. In that time he has doubtless developed plenty of industry gripes, but the one that tops the list is asset management companies not being open about their fund charges. On a personal front, he also wags a finger at cyclists on pavements.

The portfolio manager is an advocate of seeding funds, saying: ‘We have always seeded’. He also outlines that the firm seeks a ‘market niche that the fund will cover, compliance with regulations, tax status, ability of fund to grow, track record, and risk and reward’.

Tobam is the boutique fund house that features most on the firm’s buy list, which has not changed hugely over the past year apart from some additions, mainly in alternatives credit.

Sleep is a qualified chartered accountant and has also worked at Citigroup and Man Group.

Jordan Sriharan

Thomas Miller Investment

Presentation is key and when a fund manager’s presentation has no key performance information, Jordan Sriharan gets suspicious. ‘It instantly makes me think they are hiding something,’ he says.

As head of fund research at Thomas Miller Investment, Sriharan does like the managers running funds at Hermes, a stalwart on the firm’s buy list. He cites Citywire + rated Ariel Bezalel, who runs the Jupiter Strategic Bond fund, as a hidden gem.

While many expect annual management fees to lower over time, Sriharan believes they will stay the same overall, as he says the alpha delivered by Thomas Miller Investment’s active managers is clear and quantifiable.

Sriharan began his career at Fidelity before moving to the Wellcome Trust. After a stint at Mercer, he moved to Thomas Miller Investment in 2014 following the acquisition of Broadstone. He has been a CFA charterholder since 2011.

Matthew Stanesby

Close Brothers Asset Management

Matthew Stanesby is now in his 10th year at Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM), where he is head of the manager research team, responsible for both selecting and monitoring third party managers. He is also a portfolio manager on the company’s Managed range of multi-asset funds and sits on CBAM’s investment committee.

After graduating with a first in mathematics and engineering from the University of Nottingham, he started out in actuarial and investment consulting roles at Mercer and Aon’s life insurance, pensions and investment teams.

Now a seasoned investment manager, he personally runs £600 million of assets and oversees CBAM’s buy list of 280 funds, half of which are actively managed funds.

When selecting a fund, he aims to identify managers with a proven philosophy and process and in terms of his best investment call this year, he says: ‘Remaining overweight to equity in the face of fully valued markets.’

Andrew Summers

Investec Wealth & Investment

Andrew Summers, now head of collectives and fund research, has been at Investec Wealth & Investment for 10 years. He first joined its private bank as a product analyst in 2007 and was then promoted to global head of product and research. Following the acquisitions of Rensburg Sheppards and Williams de Broë, he took on his current role. Prior to Investec, he spent 10 years at Goldman Sachs in various roles.

Overseeing £15 billion in assets, Summers’ best investment call this year has been going long European equities versus US equities.

Generally, he does not feel he is getting good value for money with current fund charges, but he expects annual management charges for active funds to fall in the future due to regulatory and market pressures.

His hidden gem is fund manager Jack Barrett who runs the Man GLG UK Absolute Value Strategy and co-manages its Undervalued Asset Strategy.

Patrick Thomas

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management

Patrick Thomas joined Canaccord Genuity as an emerging markets analyst, shortly before becoming a portfolio manager in 2013. He is personally responsible for £600 million of the firm’s £15.3 billion assets under management and sits on its investment committee, alongside his private client responsibilities.

He is the lead manager for Canaccord Genuity’s onshore model portfolio service. Alongside this, Thomas has recently launched an ethical portfolio strategy, a move particularly fitting as ESG considerations are increasingly becoming part of the company’s investment process. All of its equity fund exposure is via managers who either explicitly or implicitly integrate ESG factors into their investment process. Thomas says: ‘We do this because empirically we can prove it works and our clients like it.’

Thomas previously worked at Collins Stewart, following a year in Paris working for the UN after studying philosophy and economics at Edinburgh University.

Katie Trowsdale

Standard Life Investments

Katie Trowsdale is a fund manager at Standard Life Investments (SLI) which is merging with Aberdeen. In her role she gets under the lid of actively managed equity funds, covering the UK and Europe.

She says her best investment call this year was investing in European small caps and her hidden gem is the Invesco Perpetual European Income fund.

Working on the firm’s MyFolio team under Bambos Hambi, Trowsdale has helped seed funds. She looks for a pre-existing track record of an active fund manager or a strategy that the team is unable to access elsewhere, naming short duration credit as an example.

Trowsdale’s career started at Heartwood Wealth in 2000, before joining Kleinwort Benson in 2007 as a private client portfolio manager and deputy fund of funds manager. She then moved to Gartmore’s multi-manager team and joined SLI in 2011.

Vanshree Verma

Deutsche Bank Wealth Management

Fixed income specialist Vanshree Verma has been with Deutsche Bank since 2010. She has over 10 years of research experience in her field and in her current role as vice president in the global investment group, she leads global ETF selection and conducts due diligence on fixed income funds.

The firm’s buy list has a total of 1,184 funds, with ETFs most heavily featured with 824 products. She comments: ‘The buy list has incorporated a more solutions-oriented approach, whereby we have added funds that satisfy certain themes or investment targets.’

She also highlights that ESG criteria are rapidly becoming a part of the investment process at Deutsche Bank, as ‘investors are increasingly driven by social and environmental concerns, and therefore managers are increasingly incorporating such factors in their investment process’. The bank has added more ESG conscious and impact-oriented funds to its platform to satisfy this demand.

Gary Waite

Walker Crips

Gary Waite is a portfolio manager at Walker Crips, managing over £100 million of the firm’s £5 billion of assets under management. Walker Crips’ buy list is currently skewed towards actively managed unitised funds, with half of its AUM allocated to such products.

Walker Crips has recently added the Jupiter Absolute Return fund to the buy list, and Waite points to the Natixis H20 Multi-return fund as one that has exceeded expectations. Even so, it is Neptune whose funds feature most prominently at the firm. Waite adds that ESG criteria are important, stating that it makes economic and financial sense to back sustainable companies.

Waite is adamant that fund management companies need to embrace automation and invest in systems and technical personnel. He is confident that those who do not will be left behind. On a more light-hearted note, he says that his biggest pet peeve is up-selling at coffee shops.

Richard Warne

Credit Suisse

Richard Warne is a veteran of Swiss giant Credit Suisse, where he has worked as a senior portfolio manager for 17 years, running its discretionary mutual funds business.

With £5 billion of assets under management personally, he wields significant influence and will ‘very selectively’ seed funds to help them get off the ground. He says they ‘need to be a “standout” fund with potential to grow and also the fees need to reflect the goodwill we are showing’.

Overall, he feels actively managed funds offer value for money, saying: ‘We are paying the right price for the respective alpha.’ However, he admits that with some funds he is ‘less convinced’.

Warne says his best investment call this year was backing the Morgan Stanley US Large Cap Growth fund and he highlights the GVQ UK Opportunities fund, managed by Citywire A-rated Jamie Seaton, as a hidden gem.

Matthew Webber

Standard Life Investments

Matthew Webber’s first job in investment management was within private client stockbroking, before specialising as an investment research analyst at Old Broad Street Research. From here he spent a year at Mazars Financial Planning, managing and selecting funds for its model portfolio service (MPS). His next move was to Co-operative Asset Management where he ran fund of funds before becoming funds and research manager at Standard Life Investments. His current role involves co-managing the firm’s MPS.

The boutique fund houses that appear most on the firm’s buy list are TwentyFour Asset Management and Morant Wright. Webber also names Alex Saviddes of JO Hambro Capital Management as his hidden gem fund manager.

In a year where the world has been getting to grips with Donald Trump in power, Webber, who covers the US, says his best investment call has been focusing on ‘the distinction between Trump’s rhetoric and his ability to actually implement policy change’.

Eckhard Weidner

HSBC Private Bank

Eckhard Weidner was promoted to his current role as head of fund selection at HSBC Private Bank back in 2016. He is part of the fund strategy group at the private bank and leads the fund selection process globally. He chairs the fund selection committees, while also focusing on researching, selecting and advising on long-only funds.

He joined HSBC in 2007 as a multi-manager analyst and portfolio manager. In that role he was responsible for research in global emerging markets equities and managed the HISF MultiAlpha Global Emerging Markets Equity fund. During his first three years at the firm, he also managed an Islamic multi-manager fund, investing in the Gulf region. Prior to HSBC, he worked at start-up Telos in Germany as its chief analyst. He has a PhD in mathematics from Universität Trier and an MSc in operational research from the University of Southampton.

Monique Wong

Coutts

Coutts director Monique Wong joined the private bank in 2012 and is responsible for the management of UK-based private client portfolios, as well contributing to the global investment strategy across the major asset classes.

She spent 13 years working for UBS’s global family office division and in fixed income, after graduating with a masters in economics at UCL and before that a degree in mathematics from Boston University.

After UBS, Wong initially joined Coutts’ active advisory team as a strategic investment adviser, where she was tasked with identifying and monitoring investment opportunities for high net worth and family office clients.

Wong says backing emerging market debt was her best investment call of the year, but cites performance fees as her biggest investment gripe, while people ‘mispronouncing her name’ is her major personal pet peeve.

Nick Wood

Quilter Cheviot

At Quilter Cheviot, Nick Wood heads the investment fund research team which has responsibility across both the discretionary firm and parent company Old Mutual’s multi-asset team.

An economics graduate with a masters in Russian and Eastern European studies, Wood spent the first 10 years of his career at Capital Group, working as a quantitative analyst within the investment team and then another five at the funds research team of investment consultancy Stamford Associates.

Wood's team is responsible for £13.2 billion of the firm’s £22.5 billion in assets under management. His buy list has more than 300 names spread across a variety of both passive and active products. What he dislikes most is blaming any underperformance on a fund’s particular style bias, but claiming any outperformance is due to manager skill.

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