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Wealth Manager Top 100 2018: 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.

This is Wealth Manager’s seventh annual Top 100, our guide to the leading fund selectors in private client investment management.

We have analysed the sector to identify individuals at the top of their fields. All companies featured have over £1 billion in assets under management.

Nearly a third of 2018's class are new entrants, with a number of companies featured for the first time this year, reflecting the changing face of the industry and the emergence of young talent.

Here is the complete list of the 100 stars who made the cut.

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This is Wealth Manager’s seventh annual Top 100, our guide to the leading fund selectors in private client investment management.

We have analysed the sector to identify individuals at the top of their fields. All companies featured have over £1 billion in assets under management.

Nearly a third of 2018's class are new entrants, with a number of companies featured for the first time this year, reflecting the changing face of the industry and the emergence of young talent.

Here is the complete list of the 100 stars who made the cut.

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Ziad Abou Gergi

Barclays Investment Solutions

Ziad Abou Gergi joined Barclays in 2005 as an equity portfolio manager in Paris before making the move to London in 2011.

He is now part of the multi-manager team responsible for selecting and managing long-only US equity funds, as well as heading the alternatives fund selection team.

Barclays has been overweight US equities this year, and Abou Gergi personally manages a total of £3 billion in client assets.

He is also a member of Barclays Wealth’s asset allocation committee and provides input to the firm’s model portfolios.

Abou Gergi is a CFA charterholder and has master’s degrees in management and economics. If he was not in the investment field, he would be a university professor teaching international economics.

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Daniel Adams

Psigma Investment Management

Daniel Adams joined Psigma in 2007, training as an investment manager specialising in private client portfolio construction.

He moved into the investment team in 2008, where he focuses on collective investments and asset allocation as senior investment analyst.

Adams’ best call this year was maintaining tech exposure in the face of high valuations, despite Psigma’s contrarian nature.

He also believes that fees have changed more than anything within the industry in his time at the firm, having ‘fallen considerably over the last decade, partly driven by interest rates collapsing and partly a function of the advent of passive vehicles’.

If Adams was not in investment he would have aspired to be a professional rugby player, but adds ‘everyone knows that was never really a realistic option’.

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Adil Alaoui

Sarasin & Partners

Adil Alaoui began his career in 2008 at Axa Investment Managers where he worked on various teams. He joined Quilter Cheviot in 2015 as a senior fund analyst specialist in alternatives.

He recently moved to Sarasin & Partners to work as a fund analyst/portfolio manager, becoming more of a generalist.

Sarasin manages £13.8 billion in client assets. While it has 55 actively managed unitised funds on its buy list, it also holds a large number of alternatives and alternative Ucits, at 27 and nine respectively. Sarasin also holds 22 ETFs on its buy list.

Alaoui believes that the biggest change he has seen in the industry in recent years is ‘a growing number of alternative funds alongside passives, which progressively happened as rates fell and profitable investments became more challenging’.

If Alaoui was not in investment management he ‘would be developing projects in hospitality’.

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Craig Allen

Julius Baer

Craig Allen boasts a first class degree in mathematics and French and is a chartered wealth manager. In between graduating and starting his investment career, he taught mathematics, English and translation at a university in Paris for two years.

He joined Julius Baer in February 2016 from Credit Suisse, where he headed the investment management business in the UK and Channel Islands. He currently leads the Guernsey investment team, and is a board director and head of his local investment committee.

Recent changes to Allen’s team buy list have seen the addition of ‘some specialist managers within alternative Ucits, as well as introducing a strategic bond fund and a dedicated coco fund’.

During his time in Paris, he bought shares in France Telecom, so he believes that ‘my path was always going to take me into banking’.

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Ian Aylward

Barclays Wealth & Investments

Ian Aylward has an MSc in economics and finance from Warwick University and a degree in economics. He started his career as a UK equity fund manager with CIS and then Rothschild Asset Management before moving into fund analysis. He spent almost a decade with Old Mutual Wealth prior to joining Aviva Investors.

Aylward was recruited by Barclays in 2016 as head of manager and fund selection, and leads a team of 12 responsible for over £15 billion of assets, covering long-only equity, fixed income and liquid alternative managers in UK and Europe.

Aylward is a member of both the CFA Institute and a chartered alternative investment analyst. He has worked overseas on several occasions, including a year in the Channel Islands and a year in Australia.

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Genevra Banszky von Ambroz

Smith & Williamson

Genevra Banszky von Ambroz graduated from Durham University in 2007 with a BA (Hons) in politics before entering Smith & Williamson’s graduate training scheme in 2008. She has been on the multi-manager team at the firm since January 2010.

She has an array of responsibilities at Smith & Williamson, including fund research and private wealth management, alongside co-managing three of the firm’s retail funds. Additionally she is responsible for the Asia-Pacific and non-property, asset backed sectors for the firm’s recommended list.

She personally looks after £350 million of Smith & Williamson’s client assets £20.7 billion. She believes that her best investment call of the year was ‘buying BBGI at par in the spring’.

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Haig Bathgate

Tcam/7IM

Haig Bathgate has been both CIO and co-CEO at Tcam and has been with the firm since its inception. Tcam had £1.2 billion of assets under management prior to its acquisition by Seven Investment Management earlier this year. Following the purchase, Bathgate joined 7IM’s board and took on the role of head of portfolio management.

Bathgate has been pleased with Tcam’s UK positioning this year, but has found European value heavier going ‘with financials and autos among some of the worst affected sectors by slower PMI’s and trade war rhetoric’.

Bathgate is heavily involved in the investment world in Scotland. He sits on the investment policy committee for the CFA Society and is a former chair of the Scottish CFA Society.

He is also a regular speaker on BBC Radio Good Morning Scotland.

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Derek Beatty

Julius Baer

Derek Beatty has worked in investment since 2002 and has been a CFA charterholder since 2006. He has also earned a master’s degree in corporate finance and accounting from University College Cork and a bachelor of commerce from University College Dublin.

He currently works as a portfolio manager at Julius Baer, where he serves on its investment committee with a particular expertise in multi-manager.

Beatty says ESG  has become a major consideration in Julius Baer’s stock selection, but the biggest change he has seen within the industry is ‘the rise of the machine, whether that is through passive investment, smart beta or all things AI’.

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Thomas Becket

Psigma Investment Management

Thomas Becket graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a master’s in classics in 2003 and joined Psigma in 2005. Since then he has worked on individual portfolios within the private client team before moving on to the investment team, where he is now chief investment officer, overseeing Psigma's £3 billion in client assets.

When selecting funds Psigma has no set minimum level of assets it requires. Becket believes that ‘in many cases the smaller the better, particularly in illiquid markets like credit’.

Psigma also seeds funds and when doing so looks for ‘something not currently available to investors, such as non-agency US mortgage backed securities,’ backing the Lazard Commodities fund when it launched in July 2018, for instance.

Outside of work, Becket is a football fanatic and has penned football themed articles for Citywire in the past.

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Alex Brandreth

Brown Shipley

Alex Brandreth is deputy chief investment officer at Brown Shipley, covering actively managed unitised funds and ETFs in both UK and European bond and equity markets.

In the last year he has seen the amount of passive options the firm utilises increase from 35 to 41, while the number of alternatives rose by 10.

Additionally, he leads both the structured product and third-party fund research teams, as well as contributing to Brown Shipley’s model portfolios, and personally runs £140 million in client assets.

Away from the investment world, Brandreth is expecting his second child in December. Congratulations!

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Simon Brett

Parmenion Capital Partners

Chief investment strategist Simon Brett co-founded Parmenion in 2006, having worked as an institutional fund manager since 1987. The firm has since grown to run £5 billion in client assets.

Paying an average ongoing charge of 0.75% and 0.6% for active equity and bond funds respectively, Brett does not believe he receives good value for money at current rates.

He blames ‘lack of price competition in the active fund universe’ and says it will take a ‘brave asset manager who goes first to reduce OCF to gain more AUM’.

To make it onto Brett’s recommended list a fund or manager must have a three year track record and be prepared to explain: ‘When do you admit you have made a mistake?’

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Lydia Brook

LGT Vestra

Fund analyst Lydia Brook discovered her love of research when she started her career in the equity derivatives and structured products team at Barclays' investment bank.

She joined LGT Vestra’s fund selection team in 2016 and is responsible, alongside two colleagues, for the firm’s buy list of 120 long-only funds and 60 ETFs. She quotes the ‘growth of the ETF market’ as one of the biggest industry changes she has seen.

Brook is passionate about increasing the diversity of the wealth management industry, having mentored students and recently launched a diversity and inclusion initiative at LGT Vestra.

She holds an MSc in chemistry from University College London and if she had not discovered the world of fund selection, she would have followed her scientific interests and been a ‘homicide detective’

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Ross Brookes

Charles Stanley

Fund house Kempen should be pleased that its Global Smaller Companies fund is the most recent addition to Charles Stanley’s buy list, as Ross Brookes explains competition has heated up in recent years as the firm has reduced the number of mandates on the list.

He says the higher concentration has placed ‘more of a razor sharp focus on our best ideas’.

He notes that Baillie Gifford’s stable of long-term growth funds has ‘continued to defy gravity’, and that backing them is one of his best calls this year.

Brookes joined Charles Stanley in September 2008 and became head of collectives research in September 2016.

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Rosie Bullard

James Hambro & Partners

Personally responsible for £350 million of James Hambro & Partners’ £3 billion in client assets, Rosie Bullard joined the firm in 2013.

Over the past year, exposure to overseas equity on the firm’s buy list has increased, with Bullard favouring Hermes’ Citywire AAA-rated Jonathan Pines as a hidden gem fund manager. Polar Capital Global Technology has been one of her best performing funds.

Bullard began her career as an investment assistant at HSBC before moving to UBS. She was promoted to a director at age 27 before joining James Hambro & Partners as a portfolio manager, becoming partner in 2016 and currently serves on its investment committee. 

She graduated from Durham University in 2004 and is a CFA charterholder and a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.

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James Burns

Smith & Williamson

Scotsman James Burns graduated from the University of St Andrews in 1998 with a master’s in management. The following year, he joined Smith & Williamson (at the time NCL Investments) and is now responsible for £420 million in client assets.

He began working on the investment trust desk in 2001 and now co-heads Smith & Williamson’s managed portfolio service, as well as leading its multi-manager team and sitting on its asset allocation committee.

He continues to focus on listed mandates. ‘We have had investment companies in our managed portfolio service since the day we launched it’, he explains.

Outside of work, Burns is a sports enthusiast, listing golf, tennis, rugby, and football among his interests, alongside theatre. He represented Scotland in hockey at an international level between 1996 and 2003.

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David Bushe

WH Ireland International Wealth

David Bushe reckons he would be working in ocean and environmental studies if he were not in investment management - little wonder given the locations he has worked in.

From Royal Bank of Canada in the Isle of Man and Jersey to Standard Bank in South Africa and Close Brothers in Barbados, he has racked up air miles alongside experience.

Joining WH Ireland as a director in 2013, he is responsible for managing institutional and private client assets and sits on the group’s asset allocation committee.

About 70% of the firm’s AUM is allocated to active unitised funds and 20% to closed-ended funds, with the remainder in ETFs and alternative Ucits.

Bushe explains the buy list now has a far greater depth of high level quantitative analysis to support face-to-face manager meetings. This has resulted in ‘far less numbers and a greater focus on holdings that match client risk profiles and mandate components’.

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Allan Cameron

Adam & Company

Cameron has spent 20 years at Adam & Company, having begun his career with a nine year stretch at Hill Samuel.

He is currently a discretionary manager for private individuals, pensions, charities and trusts and heads up Adam & Company’s collectives research team. He personally manages £65 million of the firm’s £1.6 billion assets under management. 

He says the most significant allocation change to n the last 12 months has been to the company's bond exposure, with two funds replaced with shorter duration credit funds.

JP Morgan European Smaller Companies trust is the latest addition to the buy list, while Baillie Gifford’s American fund has been Cameron’s best call of the year and Lazard's EM fund his worst.

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Adam Carruthers

Charles Stanley

Adam Carruthers, a fund analyst at Charles Stanley, is responsible for the selection of managers across all asset classes for the firm’s multi-asset portfolios and collectives list.

He also sits on the collectives investment committee. Carruthers was previously a manager at Barclays Wealth, running Ucits multi-manager vehicles. He is a chartered wealth manager having graduated from Heriot Watt with a master’s in economics.

He says ‘the de-equitisation of the equity market’ about five years ago is the biggest industry change he has seen, noting that some of the best companies have been taken private or reached market.

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Richard Carter

Quilter Cheviot

Richard Carter is Quilter Cheviot’s head of fixed income research, a member of its investment committee and also influences model portfolio construction.

Although previously a bond analyst and fund manager at BNY Mellon and Barings, his career could have taken a somewhat different route.

‘I had always wanted to be a journalist, until I actually did work experience at a newspaper and it put me off for life,’ he says. ‘So, probably teaching history to bored school children!’

Fixed income it was, however. Carter explains that the number of funds on Quilter Cheviot’s buy list has falln this year.

He says that there is now ‘far less glorification of fund managers and far more rigorous investigation into whether they are actually adding value’, concluding this has to be a good thing.

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Kristian Cassar

Deutsche Bank Wealth Management

Kristian Cassar has been at Deutsche Bank for eight years, leading the fixed income fund selection team within the global investment group. Cassar also serves on the firm’s investment committee.

Prior to joining Deutsche in 2010, he was a fund manager at BDO and an investment manager at HSBC. Cassar graduated from the University of Reading in 1998 with a master’s in international securities, investments and banking, and also holds the CFA.

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Tim Cockerill

Rowan Dartington

Tim Cockerill joined Rowan Dartington in 2011 after the now executive chair Graham Coxell led a consortium that bought out the company.

Cockerill helped overhaul the investment proposition and has directed asset management at the business since 2013.

Before joining the firm, which has £2.3 billion in assets under management, Cockerill was head of collective investments at Ashcourt Rowan. He has over 20 years of experience in financial services, specialising in fund research and portfolio management.

Previously he also had stints at Hargreaves Lansdown and Principal Investment Management. Rowan Dartington was acquired by St James’s Place back in 2016, and has been recruiting since then to build up its investment team.

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Justine Colley

Sanlam UK

Justine Colley, a portfolio manager at Sanlam UK, joined the company a year ago from European Wealth. There she looked after discretionary and advisory managed clients, and ran the firm’s South African desk. She previously worked at Tilney and Mansard Capital.

Colley personally manages £45 million. The company has a 220-strong buy list, with the most recent addition has the Liontrust Strategic Bond fund, managed by Phil Milburn and David Roberts.

She believes that paying an average 0.75% OCF for equity funds and 0.5% for fixed income funds is generally good value for money. Owing to market pressure she expects fees to continue to fall.

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David Coombs

Rathbones

Citywire AA-rated David Coombs is head of multi-asset investments at Rathbones and a member of the investment executive committee.

He joined Rathbones in 2007 and is lead manager of the firm’s Multi-Asset Portfolio funds. He also co-manages the Rathbones Strategic Bond fund.

Coombs was previously at Barings, where he spent 20 years managing institutional and private client money. Prior to that he was at Hambros Bank where he ran multi-asset portfolios for private clients.

Rathbones, which runs close to £40 billion in client assets, recently launched a managed portfolio service for clients of financial advisers, which invests in funds managed by Coombs.

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Emma Corbishley

UBS Global Wealth Management

Emma Corbishley, a stalwart of Wealth Manager’s Top 30 under 30, is a fund analyst in the real estate team at UBS Wealth Management.

She was previously part of the fund research team covering long-only funds and also oversaw fund exposure within UK discretionary mandates.

She is a CFA charterholder and a chartered MCSI, qualifications she gained after completing an MA (Hons) in economics and international relations.

Before joining UBS, Corbishley was at Ernst & Young, working in financial services transfer pricing.

To get on UBS’s recommended list of funds, portfolios need to have a three year track record, although Corbishley says exceptions can be made for new product launches ‘where there is a segregated mandate, composite or other track record’.

 

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Wesley Coultas

Walker Crips

With a focus on UK equities, Wesley Coultas, investment director at Walker Crips, says the best performer on the firm’s buy list over the last 12 months has been Lindsell Train UK Equity.

He has also added the JOHCM UK Dynamic fund to the list of recommended funds, while naming Jacob de Tusch-Lec’s Artemis Global Income fund as a hidden gem.

Coultas has worked at Walker Crips since leaving school over 20 years ago. He has held a number of roles in that time, including analyst and investment manager, before being promoted to director.

He looks for a five year track record before adding funds to his buy list and expects managers to convingly explain ‘How is the fund positioned for both bull and bear market conditions?’ before he will invest.

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Jade Coysh

Quilter Cheviot

Jade Coysh is a fund analyst at Quilter Cheviot. She began her career at Willis Towers Watson before taking on a manager research role at ABN Amro in Paris.

She joined Quilter Cheviot in 2017 in a manager research role and is responsible for the selection of European and global equity funds.

Coysh has recently added the Smithson investment trust and is looking to add a value-biased European fund to the fund line-up. The heavily tech-weighted Scottish Mortgage investment trust has been the portfolio’s best performer over the past 12-months, returning 23.7%.

Coysh earned a first class honours degree in accounting and finance from Brighton University and has passed level 1 of the CFA designation. She also holds the IMC and is a passionate theatre-goer and squash player.

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Oliver Creasey

Quilter Cheviot

Oliver Creasey began his career at an investment bank prior to the 2008 crash where ‘I was paid a ridiculous bonus after having been with the firm a few months and contributing nothing to the bottom line.’ The lesson this experience taught him was ‘fascinating (and often worrying)’.

He joined Quilter Cheviot in 2017 and heads the firm’s property research team, where he names Marcus Phayre-Mudge’s TR Property investment trust as his best performer over the past 12 months. He has also been topping up his holding in student accommodation firm Unite Group.

Creasey graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in chemical engineering and is a CFA charterholder. He also holds the Investment Management Certificate.

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Ian Crispo

Deutsche Bank Wealth Management

Ian Crispo is managing director and global head of hedge fund and mutual fund selection for Deutsche Bank Wealth Management.

Before taking on his current role, Crispo worked in a variety of roles within Deutsche Bank, including risk manager, hedge fund product specialist and product manager in the alternative investments and private equity areas.

He previously worked in risk and strategy consulting for Arthur D. Little and its sister firm, Sheerwood Alliance.

He holds a master’s of science in economics and finance from the ESSEC business school in Paris, is both a CFA and CAIA charterholder, and is fluent in French, Spanish and Italian.

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Peter Dalgliesh

Parmenion Capital Partners

The Asian crisis of 1997/98, which changed the financial services industry in the continent and the rest of the world for years after, was a formative experience in Peter Dalgliesh’s career.

Starting as a graduate trainee at Baring Asset Management, he had stints at Gartmore, Jupiter, and F&C, where he specialised in emerging market and Asia ex-Japan equities, becoming director of Asia Pacific equities.

He moved to Parmenion in 2012 and as discretionary investment manager oversees more than £5 billion in client assets.

Though his 60-strong buy list has contracted recently, one fund he has added is the Vontobel Sustainable Emerging Market Leaders.

He names Ben Edwards’ BlackRock Corporate Bond fund as a hidden gem and Citywire AA-rated Alexander Darwall’s Jupiter European as his best performer over the past 12 months.

‘What would you do differently if you could start the year afresh?’ is the question Dalgliesh asks all fund managers he grills.

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James Davies

Close Brothers Asset Management

James Davies is an investment manager and senior fund research specialist at Close Brothers.

He began his investment career with Chartwell Group in 2003 and from 2006 headed the firm’s fund research team until it was wholly acquired by Close in 2010.

With £800 million of assets under advice, Davies names Baillie Gifford American as his best performing fund over the last 12 months and Neuberger Berman Uncorrelated Strategies as his most recent addition to the buy list.

KLS Sloane Robinson Emerging Markets fund is a hidden gem, while being overweight emerging markets at the start of the year was his best investment call of 2018, he says. His worst? ‘Being overweight emerging markets for the rest of the year.’

Davies holds a BSc Econ (Hons) in international relations from Aberystwyth University and if not an investment manager he would have been ‘some sort of bounty hunter, but in space’.

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Jason Day

Standard Life Wealth

Jason Day was a member of Allenbridge Group’s multi-manager team before joining Standard Life Investments as a senior analyst in 2011. He moved to Standard Life Wealth, which runs £6.6 billion in client assets, becoming a senior investment manager in 2013.

He is a member of the company’s investment committee, covering both active and passive funds.

He also oversees the firm’s multi-asset Target Return portfolio range, which invest across third-party funds and uses derivatives to provide an alternative source of returns.

Standard Life Wealth, , announced earlier this year that it is set to rebrand in the future, following the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management, while expansion into the North West is also on the agenda.

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Alastair Dean

Stonehage Fleming

Stonehage Fleming’s Alastair Dean believes that discovering ‘who or what experience influenced a fund manager’s investment philosophy often gives a good insight into how they are likely to react in different market conditions’.

Dean began his career at ABN Amro following a degree in business mathematics and statistics at the London School of Economics.

In 2015 he joined Stonehage Fleming from Mazars, as a senior associate focusing on investment strategy and research.

Although his primary focus is on due diligence and research on global and regional equity mandates, he also undertakes projects in fixed income on an ad hoc basis.

A member of Stonehage Fleming’s investment committee and influencing the company’s model portfolio service, he expects to see an increasing bifurcation of active fund fees, with managers consistently adding alpha able to charge more.

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Will Dobbs

Charles Stanley

Will Dobbs's team at Charles Stanley runs £450 million for a broad range of private client, charity, pension and trust clients.

His research responsibilities cover both collective investment schemes and direct equities, with the latter his main focus. He also sits on the company’s equity strategy committee.

Dobbs joined Charles Stanley in 2011 and went on to complete the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment’s master’s in wealth management qualification.

On the funds side, he names Reliance India Equity as a hidden gem, while among listed holdings he says data capture specialists Zebra Technologies was his best investment call of 2017.

Reducing his exposure to AB Dynamics, which provides testing systems to the motor industry, was his worst.

His killer question for fund managers is: ‘What are you most worried about?’

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Tristan Dolphin

Stonehage Fleming

Stonehage Fleming’s Tristan Dolphin is a psychology graduate and believes it is essential to understand what a fund manager’s edge is, what they are doing differently to the market and how repeatable that is.

‘It is crucial to forming a view on whether they are able to consistently generate alpha,’ he says.

Dolphin,  a senior associate in the multi-family office’s equity manager selection team, is a staunch advocate of active fund management. Some 90% of the firm’s assets are in actively managed funds and he broadly feels he gets value for money, but also expects fees to fall further as passives take an increased market share.

‘In addition to seeing fees come down for some of our core funds, we are also seeing more performance fee options, which, when structured properly, better align the manager’s interests and our own,’ he adds.

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Harry Driscoll

Tilney

After five and a half years working as a fund analyst at Chelsea Financial Services and then Richmond House, Harry Driscoll joined Tilney in 2017, where he focuses on US and global funds and trusts.

He also has input into the firm’s model portfolio service in his role as a senior investment analyst.

Driscoll cites Scottish Mortgage as the top performer in the sectors he covers. He pinpoints Lyrical US Value as his hidden gem fund, although it underperformed last year as growth was in favour.

He says his best call of the year was ‘sticking with Lindsell Train Global and Fundsmith, despite concerns that they might struggle in a rising rate environment’.

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Poppy Fox

Brooks Macdonald

Brooks Macdonald’s Poppy Fox does not believe in ‘asking killer questions and interrogating managers’, preferring to build a long-term relationship based on mutual trust.

‘I believe then you will get a better understanding of how they manage money and how they tick,’ she says.

Fox took a slightly unconventional route to her job as investment director. After studying politics and sociology at the University of Durham, she started as an adminstrator in one of Brooks Macdonald’s London teams.

Two years later, in 2009, she moved onto the company’s graduate scheme and later qualified as an investment manager. She has since been promoted to director and personally oversees a client book of £120 million.

She also sits on the firm’s property research team. Overweights in US equity and technology were her top calls this year, while buying BlackRock Gold & General was her worst.

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Jamie Frere-Scott

LGT Vestra

Jamie Frere-Scott joined LGT Vestra as head of authorised funds in September 2015.

He started his career as a UK equity analyst at Russell Investments after graduating from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in history and geography. He then moved to Investment Solutions as a research analyst and portfolio manager.

He was promoted to head of research three years later, before being appointed as head of research at Mobius Life and a spell as funds director at Ashcourt Rowan.

At LGT Vestra Frere-Scott leads the research process for equity, fixed income and alternative asset classes.

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Shiwen Gao

Investec Wealth & Investment

Shiwen Gao joined Investec Wealth & Investment as a fund selection specialist in 2016.

A fluent Mandarin speaker, she is primarily responsible for global and Japanese equity fund selection, but also acts as the secondary analyst covering passive strategies, specialist and ethical funds.

Gao graduated with a degree in mathematics with management finance from King’s College London and completed a master’s in accounting and finance at the London School of Economics.

She started her career at Quilter Cheviot as an investment analyst where she spent nearly four years, latterly covering global equity funds for the firm’s multi-asset team, before moving to Investec Wealth & Investment.

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Andrew Gilbert

Parmenion Capital Partners

Ethical investment becoming mainstream is the biggest change to the industry that Parmenion’s Andrew Gilbert has seen in his career. He hopes the trend will continue to gather momentum.

Gilbert runs the company’s ethical fund of funds range, and in total oversees £3.6 billion of the firm’s £5.2 billion of assets under man.

After completing a degree in economics at the University of York, Gilbert started his career at ethical investment specialists Rathbone Greenbank before joining Parmenion in 2010.

Besides portfolio management and fund research, his wider responsibilities include either chairing or sitting on a number of investment, risk and ethical committees.

He helps oversee a monthly review of the company’s buy list, which currently comprises 300 actively managed funds, plus a range of passives and alternatives, with Jupiter European the top performer on the list over the last year.
 

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Mick Gilligan

Killik & Co

Mick Gilligan is a 17 year veteran of Killik, having joined the company in 2001.

He became a partner in the business in 2004 and is head of portfolio management. Alongside running the company’s model portfolio service, he oversees all aspects of research, including funds, equities, bonds, investment trusts and alternatives.

To be considered for Killik’s fund buy list, products typically need to be at least £75 million in size and have at least a one year track record. The BlackRock Frontiers investment trust was the most recent addition to the company’s buy list and he cites ScotGems, a global smaller companies trust managed by Stewart Investors, as his hidden gem.

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Christopher Godding

Tilney

Tilney’s chief investment officer (CIO) Christopher Godding is a high flyer in wealth management so it may not come as a surprise that in another professional life have been a glider pilot.

Godding started his investment career as a US equity portfolio manager, before becoming a technology portfolio manager at Prolific Financial Management and, via acquisition, Aberdeen.

He later served as an equity manager at Moore Capital, before becoming CIO of Morgan Stanley Private Wealth, then Signia Wealth prior to Tilney.

Of Tilney’s £24 billion in client assets, Godding has personal responsibility for £9 billion.

Within the 135 active fund managers on his buy list, Godding singles out Evenlode Income fund manager Hugh Yarrow as a standout.

It has been the Scottish Mortgage investment trust that has proved to be his best performer over the last 12 months, however.

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John Goodall

WH Ireland

John Goodall, WH Ireland’s head of private client research, says the rise of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has transformed the industry. But he does not expect that this will last forever.

‘It is likely to revert at some stage as valuations of some of the companies which have benefited the most are unsustainable in the long term,’ says Goodall.

In the early 2000s, Goodall worked as a trader at Spreadex, before he made the move into private client management in 2005 when he joined Tilney as an investment management assistant. He left Tilney two years later to move to WH Ireland.

A focus on defensive areas such as infrastructure and alternatives has helped Goodall in the recent challenging markets.

However, he admits he underestimated the potential of how far US tech stocks could rise and this has hindered performance.

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Sam Grant-Dalton

Close Brothers Asset Management

Close Brothers’ Sam Grant-Dalton says that when selecting funds one has to focus on the future and not just the present.

‘The [buy] list’s evolution reflects not only the investments that we are currently making, but also those that we envisage might be attractive further down the line,’ he says.

He looks for managers who deliver a combination of capital preservation and income or growth, but have low correlations to other asset classes.

He joined Close Brothers in 2010 and is an investment manager within the discretionary management service team, which runs the Close Managed fund range and the managed portfolio service.

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Jon Gumpel

Brooks Macdonald

If Jon Gumpel had not become a fund manager, he says he may pursued the pastoral life of a cattle farmer.

Instead, he has to settle for being a co-founder of Brooks Macdonald, a business that now has assets under management of over £12 billion, £560 million of which Gumpel runs himself.

In a 42-year career in investment management in, he says he has never seen any other change as impactful as Mifid II.

‘Mifid seems to have had more significant effects across more areas of business than any other change I can remember.’

He adds: ‘I hope the benefits are as significant.’

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Bambos Hambi

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Bambos Hambi says recent regulatory changes have caused the biggest upset in wealth management he has seen since the Big Bang.

In a career stretching over 40 years, Hambi has worked for many of the biggest names in funds including Legal & General, Quilter, Rothschild, Insight and Gartmore.

He is currently head of multi-manager strategies at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

Alongside the £24 billion in assets under management and advice he runs, Hambi also sits on the investment committee.

He has 250 funds on his buy list, which he notes has grown due to the merger between SLI and Aberdeen. Out of all of these funds he singles out the THB US Opportunities as one that is flying under the radar of most investors.

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James Hawkes

Coutts

James Hawkes started his wealth career at Cumberland Place as an investment analyst, after making the switch from investing in short-term interest rate and commodity futures.

He joined Coutts in 2015, where he is an associate director within fund research, covering equities and more recently alternative Ucits.

Bullishly adding to UK equities after the February fall is a move he considers his best investment call so far this year.

He does not feel current fund charges offer good value for money and some fees still too high. He expects them to continue to fall.

‘Active risk taken on a large number of funds is still quite low and due to high fees, you are not receiving good value for money,’ Hawkes says.

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Edward Heath-Thompson

Coutts

Edward Heath-Thompson started his career as a trainee investment manager on Brewin Dolphin’s graduate scheme before he switched tracks and spent five years at a start-up fintech business building its investment proposition.

Given this background it is perhaps not surprising that he sees Big Data as transformative for the wealth management industry.

‘[Data] has brought about new ways to engage with clients and manage client relationships, while also benefiting investment decision making,’ says Heath-Thompson.

He joined Coutts in 2016 and now covers UK equities, high yield bonds and thematic equities.

The best performing fund out of the 100 active funds on his buy list is Polar Capital Global Technology, managed by Citywire AA-rated duo Ben Rogoff and Nick Evans.

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Ben Gutteridge

Brewin Dolphin

Although Ben Gutteridge’s chief role is head of fund research at Brewin Dolphin, he also performs another essential role for the firm, co-hosting the Brewin Podcast.

‘I find nothing more rewarding than hosting the Brewin Podcast,’ he jokes. ‘I find nothing more soothing than my own voice.’

Over the last 12 months (when not hosting a podcast), Gutteridge has repositioned his buy list toward  growth strategies, with the latest addition Baillie Gifford’s US Growth trust, run by Gary Robinson.

Gutteridge is clearly a fan of AA-rated Robinson’s investment style as he highlights his other fund, Baillie Gifford American, as his best performer over the last 12 months.

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Charles Hepworth

GAM

Charles Hepworth began his career in finance at SG Warburg in 1991 after completing a degree in biotechnology at Leeds University.

Hepworth is an investment director at GAM, responsible for developing and managing its UK adviser team within the discretionary service.

Hepworth personally runs $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion). The latest addition to his substantial 300-strong buy list is the Alken Continental Europe fund, managed by Nicolas Walewski and Marc Festa.

Before joining GAM in May 2012, he was an executive director at Quilter, responsible for running its managed portfolio service (MPS) since 2001.

He started at Quilter as an assistant fund manager in 1994. Prior to this, he was a deputy fund manager at Albert E Sharp, specialising in managing money for private clients.

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Paul Higgins

SG Kleinwort Hambros

Paul Higgins says emerging markets and Asia Pacific funds have driven his performance this year. At the other end of the spectrum, his worst investment was a gold fund which down 13% year to date.

Higgins joined Kleinwort Benson as a portfolio manager in 2014.

Since the acquisition by Société Générale and formation of Kleinwort Hambros, he has taken on the role of senior portfolio manager, responsible for private clients and advisers.

He is co-chair of the Europe-wide fund selection group and currently has 19 fund selectors reporting to him across Europe.

Higgins studied geography at the University of London and says that if he was not an investor he would most likely work in third world development.

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Matt Hoggarth

Thesis Asset Management

‘The excitement of economics and markets pulled me towards investment management,’ is why we don’t see ‘diplomat’ on Matt Hoggarth’s resume. Despite graduating with a master’s in international relations, Hoggarth chose a different path, delving into the world of finance, starting as a data analyst at Thesis Asset Management in 2005.

His passion for markets means he has worked his way up through the ranks within the firm, from leading the Chichester research team for six years to an expanding responsibilities list as part of his current position as head of research.

He specialises in inheritance tax investing and is personally responsible for £5.5 million in the firm’s AIM service. Alongside this, he is also a member of the Society of Professional Economists. He is a chartered fellow of CISI and a CFA charterholder.

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Paul Hookway

Kleinwort Hambros

Boasting an impressive 31 years at Kleinwort Benson (now Kleinwort Hambros), Paul Hookway has certainly been at the forefront of change, working through all the past iterations of the firm. Following several mergers his collection of business cards is surely something to be marvelled at.

If you want that coveted spot on his buy list of over 90 funds, not only will you need a fantastic three year track record, but you will have to be willing to answer the dreaded question: ‘What mistakes have you made and how have these affected your process going forward?’

Hookway definitely did not make a mistake going into the world of finance as he is the named manager for five in-house funds of funds, rising to the rank of senior fund analyst and overseeing a personal AUM of £260 million.

Unfortunately, his alternative career choice as a professional figure painter will have to wait, as all of this, as well as marketing the firm and being a member of the investment committee, is bound to keep him very busy.

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James Horniman

James Hambro & Partners

With a decorated career history and an impressive personal AUM of £700 million out of the firm’s total assets of £3.1 billion, it is no wonder James Horniman is one of the top fund selectors in the country.

With over 25 years in the industry at some of the largest banks, his previous roles include being a director at HSBC for six years and UBS for five years. He is now a partner at James Hambro, a role he has held for the past five years.

You need to have an established track record of five years and be able to answer correctly the question of ‘do you invest in your own funds’ to even be considered being put on his 60+ segregated mandate buy list.       

An avid gardener and creative fiction writer, he believes he is getting good value for money due to the outperformance of the funds he has invested in. Outside of the office, he has also found the time to complete his first novel.

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Julian Howard

GAM

Julian Howard joined GAM in 2007 and is head of its multi-asset division. Since graduating with a degree in history from the University of Bristol, he has held roles in several top fund firms.

Previously, he worked at Henderson Global Investors, Insight Investment, Invesco Perpetual and JP Morgan Asset Management. Howard is personally responsible for £1.6 billion AUM and focuses on strategic and tactical asset allocation, while operating on a truly global scale, covering all regions worldwide.

He oversees a 70+ buy list covering actively managed funds and alternatives. The list has been evolving over the past 12 months with more representation of ‘new alternatives’, including target return and alternative risk premia strategies.

Past performance is no indication of future performance, which is why he states that GAM does not obsess with past performance but rather, focuses on ‘potential in a disciplined wrapper’.

Howard is a CISI chartered wealth manager and holds the CISI diploma, the CISI investment advice diploma and the CISI diploma in investment compliance.

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Bo Huang

Tilney

Having more than 15 years’ experience in multi-asset funds of funds and direct equities, Bo Huang has been a portfolio manager of multi manager funds at Tilney for the last three years, part of which was spent at Towry before it was acquired in 2016.

Graduating with a master’s in European business, Huang accumulated significant experience advising major French banks in cross-border relations at Ernst & Young, analysing Asian equities at a boutique firm and selecting funds in global markets at Stamford Associates.

She is an active member of the firm’s investment committee, and is also fluent in Chinese, French and English.

Personally overseeing over £5 billion in assets across multiple asset classes, she is also a strong contributor to the simplification process of discretionary, model portfolios and advisory portfolios which total over £9 billion combined.

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Lynn Hutchinson

Charles Staney

Specialising in European ETFs and passive index funds on a global scale, senior analyst Lynn Hutchinson has been at Charles Stanley since it acquired Pan Asset Management in 2013. She previously moved from Sarasin & Partners to Pan Asset in 2007, joining as an ETF researcher.

As there has been an increasing amount of interest from both investment managers and clients for ethical and ESG products, Hutchinson states that Charles Stanley, which has over £23 billion in assets, is dedicated to catering for these changing needs. She says: ‘Over the past year Charles Stanley has launched ethical model portfolios using passive products.’

She describes the biggest industry change being ‘the launch of passive products with their low costs’. This has seen active funds lowering their charges which has been good for investors, she adds.

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Luke Hyde-Smith

Waverton Investment Management

A valuable fund manager is like finding a diamond in the rough which is why Luke Hyde-Smith credits Jeff James, who runs the Heptagon Driehaus US Micro Cap fund, as being his hidden gem. No doubt, as this fund has been the best performer over the last 12 months on Waverton’s buy list.

If he was not in finance, he would be sitting at his own vineyard in the south of France, sipping a vintage he made himself.

Maybe one day, but for now, he can be found at Waverton, working as head of fund selection.

No stranger to responsibility, with £150 million in assets and a buy list of over 80 products, Hyde-Smith also is the lead manager of the Waverton Tactical Equity fund and co-manager of the Waverton Cautious Income fund. He has developed his craft by drawing from past experiences analysing funds at SG Private Bank, as well as managing a range of multi-asset strategies at Brompton Asset Management.
 

 

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Alex Imrie

Smith & Williamson

Alex Imrie started his career as a client reporter but soon learned he wanted to go where the action was. He started studying for the CFA exams and moved into equity research at Kleinwort Benson in 2007. Seven years and a multitude of experience in multi-asset investing later, Imrie joined Smith & Williamson, where all that hard work paid off, as he is now responsible for £95 million in assets and he was recently promoted to partner.

When discussing what he looks for in funds that he would consider seeding, he says: ‘I look for an approach that can help me build robust and diversified portfolios. I don’t always want to hear the same old traditional approach from fund managers. Instead, I want to hear interesting views and analysis.’ Imrie knew the world of finance was always one for him. ‘I love the world of investments and there is always something new to learn,’ he adds.

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Chady Jouni

Barclays Investment Solutions

Chady Jouni clearly has a knack for managing teams. As a senior portfolio manager and head of equity research at Barclays Investment Solutions, he has had to wear many hats. Which is why if he were not an investment manager he would definitely be the manager of a football club.

Following his degree in engineering from École Nationale Superieure d’Electricité et Mécanique in France, he joined Bfinance as a fund analyst in charge of fund selection. He then worked for Baring Asset Management in its multi-asset team, leading research on European and emerging markets funds, before joining Barclays in 2010.

Barclays has £30 billion of assets under management, of which Jouni manages £1.2 billion. Some 75% of Barclays’ AUM is allocated to actively managed funds. Its buy list has evolved over the last year with an increase in the number of ESG products on it. He names the Neuberger Berman China fund as his hidden gem.

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Alena Kosava

Tilney

Spending the majority of her working life at Tilney, Alena Kosava has worked her way up through the ranks. She holds a bachelor’s degree in management and finance, and a master’s in investment and quantitative finance. She is also a CFA charterholder.

Starting her career at Sunguard as an analyst, Kosava swiftly moved on to Tilney in 2014, joining as a fund analyst. Currently, she is director of equity and alternative fund selection, focusing on leadership, investment research and portfolio management.

She is also a member of the investment committee, personally overseeing £7 billion out of the firm’s total £25 billion in assets under management.

Historically, Tilney has seeded funds. She says that in order to get Tilney to seed a fund, the manager will need a great track record. She favours managers who are ‘able to demonstrate good team resources and processes to enable them to expand their presence in other areas’.

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Nick Lamb

WH Ireland

Nick Lamb heads WH Ireland’s Bristol office and has spent more than 18 years with the firm, making him one of its longest serving employees.

A chartered wealth manager and a fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), he started his career at Lloyds Bank Stockbrokers in 1997. He now manages discretionary portfolios for a range of different clients, including trusts, charities and private individuals.

A member of the firm’s investment committee and responsible for £120 million in assets, Lamb says his best investment decision in the last 12 months has been to maintain portfolios in line with risk profiles and stay firm in the face of geopolitical developments.

When he wants to put a fund manager on the spot, he asks: ‘Have you got skin in the game, and what have you learnt from your mistakes?’

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Chris Lewis

Cazenove Capital

Joining Cazenove in 2010, Chris Lewis worked as a private client portfolio manager specialising in discretionary investment management for wealthy individuals and family groups. He then moved over to his current role as an investment manager covering both direct and fund investments.

He has an undergraduate degree in history from Cambridge University and a graduate diploma in business and management from the Judge Business School. So far this year, Lewis is proudest of his decision to add growth exposure to his Japanese equity fund allocation, as the firm has diversified across styles and market caps in the region in order to better weather market volatility.

He says ESG concerns are now an important consideration for Cazenove, as they are viewed as potentially having a real impact on returns. The firm looks at asset managers’ track records in this area, as well as how fund managers integrate ESG considerations into their investment strategies.

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Cranley Macfarlane

JM Finn

Cranley Macfarlane passed the bar, but joined JM Finn in 2011 after choosing to make the switch to investment management.

He became an investment manager after gaining a CISI master’s in wealth management in 2014. He now co-manages £210 million of private client assets for individuals, families, trusts and charities.

In his role, Macfarlane has a broad range of responsibilities – from relationship management to stock selection – and he covers fixed income fund selection for the company.

He thinks it is good to know how much a fund manager has invested in their own fund, as that can indicate that their interests are aligned with those of the investors. According to Macfarlane, Church House Investment Grade Bond fund manager Jerry Wharton stands out, because he ‘understands what private clients want from their fixed income investments’.

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Dan Masters

Brooks Macdonald

Dan Masters, who has a background in accountancy, joined Brooks Macdonald in 2009. There, he heads the firm’s North American equities research team, while also managing discretionary investment portfolios for charities, high net worth individuals and trusts. Personally, he oversees £105 million.

Brooks Macdonald, which has £12.4 billion in assets under management in total, boasts a 320-strong buy list. According to Masters, this has actually become more focused as the team has ‘reduced the tail’. He says ‘this has led to a higher quality list, which has fed through to portfolio performance’.

This year, his best investment call has been maintaining an overweight to technology through thematic investing and keeping faith in the FANGs, while the worst was reducing UK equity too early, with the FTSE 100 later hitting an all-time high.

He is happy to pay an average of 0.65% and 0.4% for active equity and bond funds, respectively, as long as the performance justifies it.

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James McDaid

GAM

James McDaid works within GAM’s discretionary fund management service to develop and manage its outsourcing proposition for IFAs around the world. McDaid managed private client portfolios and relationships at Quilter before joining GAM in 2012.

He is a CFA and CAIA charterholder and chartered wealth manager, and also has a BA in accountancy and finance.

McDaid personally manages £1.2 billion of GAM’s £126 billion assets, and says CC Japan Alpha has been this year’s best performing fund. Commenting on how the firm goes about choosing which funds to seed, he says it devotes more attention to the specific portfolio manager than the funds themselves.

‘We are keen to discuss managers who the fund groups themselves have high hopes for or maybe an experienced manager who has been shunned or forgotten by the mainstream due to short-term performance pressures,’ he adds.

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James McGuire

UBS Wealth Management

Having toiled in the investment funds business since 1984, UBS Wealth Management executive director James McGuire knows a thing or two about how things used to be. Indeed, were he not working in finance, he says he would be a history teacher.

During his career, McGuire has managed funds of funds, worked in marketing and been a client portfolio manager in the US, witnessing close-up how the explosion of available data and regulation has transformed the flow of information in the industry.

He joined UBS in 1999 and is responsible for selecting long-only fund managers for use in the firm’s global investment programmes, covering the UK, Europe and Japan. He also sits on the global fund investment committee of the Swiss bank. UBS globally advises on over CHF 2.4 trillion. The bank's UK wealth management division has £45.1 billion of assets under management.

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Rory Mcpherson

Psigma Investment Management

Psigma’s head of investment management Rory McPherson is no stranger to responsibility, having spent 10 years running around £1 billion in mixed asset portfolios for retail and institutional clients at Russell Investments prior to taking up his current role two years ago. Since then, his main duties have been asset allocation and fund selection.

There are 35 strategies on Psigma’s buy list and 80% of the firm’s assets under management are allocated to active funds, McPherson says the firm’s best performing pick in the last 12 months has been the RWC Nissay Japan fund.

His best decision in that period has been adding exposure to growth and tech by buying the Loomis Sayles Global Growth fund towards the end of last year. If he was not a wealth manager and there was not so much competition, McPherson says he would have liked to have been a sports statistician or pro golf caddy.

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Shakhista Mukhamedova

Brewin Dolphin

Shakhista Mukhamedova has been a research analyst at Brewin Dolphin since 2010, most recently focusing on fixed income and property funds. She started out working on structured products and derivatives-based strategies before her remit was expanded around two years ago.

A member of the firm’s investment committee, she says her best call this year was going underweight US investment grade bonds. She advocates remaining overweight to debt issued by financials. When deciding which funds to seed, she assesses the quality of management, investment opportunity, liquidity and portfolio construction abilities.

Asked what hard-hitting question she likes to ask fund heads, Mukhamedova says: ‘I ask managers to tell me about their investment mistakes. Their reaction sometimes can change the impression of their personality and might even affect our decision.’

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Simon Nicholas

Brown Shipley

Simon Nicholas joined Brown Shipley in 2010 as a senior manager of three multi-manager funds that later broadened into the current range of five multi-asset funds.

A specialist in fund management and the research of collective investment schemes, he leads the fund selection of open-ended collectives, is part of the KBL Group fund research team focused on US equities and oversees £250 million in assets.

This year, he has been happiest with his view on the Baillie Gifford American fund, while Henderson China has disappointed.

After entering the investment industry in 1986, just as Big Bang was unleashed, Nicholas worked for Aberdeen Asset Management and Cazenove Fund Management, spending 13 years at the latter.

The biggest change he has noticed recently in the world of wealth management has been the impact of Mifid II.

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Georgios Nikolaou

Thomas Miller Investment

Recently promoted to portfolio manager, Georgious Nikolaou has worked at Thomas Miller Investment since December 2015 and is a key member of its alternative investment research team. In his position, he engages in research and analysis, macroeconomic research, and supports the firm’s portfolio management process. Nikolaou has four years’ total investment experience, having previously held the role of portfolio analyst at Capital Generation Partners.

A CFA charterholder, he holds a master’s in finance and investment from the University of Durham and a BSc in economics – achieving a distinction – from the University of Athens. Personally responsible for £220 million of Thomas Miller’s £3.6 billion assets under management, he thinks the biggest trend to hit wealth management since he started out has been the ‘gradually accelerating’ integration of machine learning and artificial intelligence into investment strategies.

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Ashley Northgrave

Butterfield Bank

Hailing from Guernsey, Ashley Northgrave has over 20 years’ experience in financial services. He started his career with BDO Chartered Accountants in South Africa, before joining Investec, where he spent two years working in offshore trusts and tax.

He then moved to RBC, where he served as director of bespoke investment management, running more than £500 million in assets. He became a board director at RBC in Guernsey, during which time he oversaw £4.5 billion in assets overall, before moving to Butterfield Bank in 2016.

At Butterfield he looks after £100 million in assets and is responsible for key client relationships. Alongside providing discretionary investment management, he sits on the global investment committee.

He believes fees on funds will fall due to ‘investor demand for lower, more transparent fees, along with a lack of consistent outperformance’.

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Justin Oliver

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management

‘Name one improvement you have made to your investment process recently and why wasn’t this incorporated at an earlier stage?’ That is the killer question Justin Oliver asks fund managers.

Serving as deputy chief investment officer at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, Oliver assists the CIO, manages a number of the firm’s Select range of funds, chairs the portfolio construction committee and sits on the asset allocation and fund selection committees.

He previously worked in the investment division of Kleinwort Benson and joined Canaccord in 2000. Of Canaccord’s £26.9 billion assets under management, Oliver personally runs £360 million.

His best call during the first half of the year has been maintaining thematic exposure to healthcare and technology, and initiating exposure to US smaller companies.

He says ‘the greatest miscalculation’ has been having an overweight to Europe.

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Michael Paul

Brewin Dolphin

Michael Paul, who is a fund analyst at Brewin Dolphin, names Dan Carter from Jupiter as his hidden gem. ‘My best call was to support Dan Carter as manager of the Jupiter Japan Income fund, despite his relatively short tenure at the helm,’ he says.

Paul joined Brewin Dolphin in 2014 and is responsible for its Asian, Japanese and absolute return fund coverage.

As part of his role at Brewin Dolphin, he sits on the investment committee, oversees its structured product process and provides input into the firm’s model portfolio service.

From the firm’s 235-strong buy list, he says the Baillie Gifford American fund has been the best performer, while the Baillie Gifford US Growth trust has been the most recent addition.

He says his worst call was to maintain a recommendation to India where the manager had an overweight to mid caps, despite the clear overvaluation of this segment of the market. That said, he continues to believe it will deliver in the long term.

He has a first-class degree in economics from the University of Bath, and he previously worked as an investment manager at City Asset Management.

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Stephen Peters

Barclays

Stephen Peters says he would have been a QI elf if he was not in investment management, because he enjoys writing and taking part in quizzes. Until he gets that call, however, he is serving as head of fund research at Barclays, personally managing £1.9 billion of assets in UK equities multi-manager strategies.

Peters joined Barclays in October 2016 from Charles Stanley, where he had spent nine years in its central research team.

At Barclays, he says the best performing fund on the buy list has been the SLI UK Smaller Companies fund.

To get onto the buy list, he says that in theory he does not require a minimum track record, but in practice it has featured funds that have been around for at least three years.

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Alasdair Pike

JM Finn

Alasdair Pike joined JM Finn in 2005 and is currently working as a senior investment manager, overseeing £200 million of client assets. Prior to JM Finn, he was at Cazenove Capital, where he spent 11 years. Alongside his responsibilities managing private client portfolios, pension funds and trusts, Pike also takes a leading role in the company’s relationships with intermediaries and specialises in passive investments.

Looking through the evolution of the firm’s buy list over the last 12 months, he says: ‘On the passive side the main theme has been the continued fall in the cost of passive investments. This has not just been in ETFs, but also in unit trust trackers.

‘The bigger providers continue to compete for market share, while the smaller providers will only survive by providing niche products. Only the bigger providers are likely to remain competitive in the core market-weighted products and this has been reflected in our buy list.’

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Shaun Port

Nutmeg

The first entrant into the Top 100 from a robo advice firm, Shaun Port has stood out with his more than 25 years’ experience of working on developing multi-asset strategies for clients, which have included central banks and pension schemes, alongside charities and high net worth individuals. Port is currently chief investment officer at Nutmeg, which has £1.5 billion in assets under management. He was previously at BDO Investment Management, where he also served as CIO, for six years.

At Nutmeg, which he joined in 2012, he is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s investment proposition.

Nutmeg only invests in ETFs and Port explains: ‘We think ETFs are the hidden gem in fund management. Many investors are yet to leverage the benefits ETFs can bring to a portfolio management process. We are typically open to seeding new ETF strategies where we believe there will be a material benefit to clients. This is often cost and thus performance driven. But the products have to be of the highest quality and have the potential to grow along with our assets.’

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Edward Raymond

Julius Baer

Edward Raymond, head of portfolio management at Julius Baer, oversees an impressive CHF6.3 billion (£5.5 billion) of assets. He joined the private bank in 2013, following its acquisition of Merrill Lynch Portfolio Managers.

At Julius Baer, which has CHF15 billion in assets under management in the UK, he is both a member of the global investment committee and sits on the executive committee in the UK. He also chairs the firm’s products and services committee.

Out of all the funds on the bank’s buy list, Raymond says the MFS Meridian European Value fund has been the standout performer.

On ensuring diversity in the buy list, Raymond says: ‘We think that it is only possible to offer our clients a differentiated service through ensuring a dynamic and diverse team of professionals. Many of our selected managers employ a team-based approach, featuring female portfolio managers and analysts. In fact, the majority of our managers focusing on funds-based strategies in London are female.’

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Caspar Rock

Cazenove Capital

Caspar Rock, chief investment officer at Cazenove Capital, says the biggest industry change he has seen has been ‘the life cycle from directly invested portfolios, to active portfolios, then to passive portfolios’ and now the ‘increasing interest in directly invested solutions’.

Rock, who has over 30 years of industry experience, joined Cazenove in 2016 from Architas Multi Manager, which controlled around £20 billion in assets. In contrast, Cazenove has £46 billion in assets under management. He was with Architas for eight years, with a prior stint at Axa Framlington. He says that if he was not in investment management he would have been an architect.

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Michael Rosenthal

Signia Wealth

Michael Rosenthal has 21 years of investment management experience across a number of asset classes. He is now chief investment officer at Signia Wealth, which has $2 billion (£1.7 billion) in assets under management. He joined Signia in 2013 and prior to that he was global co-head of investment and head of the London office at Amundi Alternative Investment, the hedge fund business of SocGen/Credit Agricole.

Before that he spent five years at JP Morgan Investment Management where he worked as a portfolio manager running Japanese equity portfolios and JPM’s Japan L/S Equity hedge fund. He says his best call this year has been adding statistical arbitrage funds, which has been ‘very successful’.

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Darren Ruane

Investec Wealth & Investment

Investec Wealth & Investment’s fixed interest head Darren Ruane has been in the City since 1996. Currently he personally manages £500 million of the firm’s £36.9 billion of assets under management.

The best performer on the company’s buy list has been the TwentyFour Income fund, while the most recent addition was the H2O Multi Aggregate fund.

After beginning his career at an institutional charity and pension fund manager, Ruane started working for GMAC in 2005, trading portfolios of mortgage loans in the residential mortgage backed securities market. He then joined Rensburg Sheppards in July 2008, which was later acquired by Investec.

As part of his role at the company, he provides overall commentary on global bond markets, manages the firm’s largest fixed income mandates and helps with the selection of bond funds. He also sits on the asset allocation, global investment strategy, treasury and investment committees.

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David Saab

Aperture Investors

David Saab was the global head of fixed income and absolute return funds at JP Morgan until last month when he resigned to join newly launched Aperture Investors. He joined JP Morgan in 2011, where he also oversaw 40Act and Ucits vehicles.

Prior to that he worked as a portfolio manager at Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild, heading its fixed income and absolute return fund research. There, he also developed expertise in high yield, leveraged loans and emerging markets debt. He was a member of the investment committee and created tailored asset allocation solutions for high net worth clients.

He actually started his career at JP Morgan working on the bank’s masterswap desk.

At Aperture, Saab is serving as the managing director of the New York-based firm’s international business.

He holds a master’s degree in finance from Audencia Nantes Business School and did the MBA program at Georgia State University in the US.

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Paulo Santos

Cazenove Capital

Paulo Santos started his career at Fidelity International in 2008, where he was responsible for alternatives research in the multi-manager team. Santos, who holds an MBA from London Business School, joined Cazenove Capital in 2015. There, he serves as chair of the hedge fund and multi-asset committees and is responsible for the firm’s infrastructure allocation.

His killer question for fund managers is: ‘What is the worst possible macro/trading environment for your strategy?’

He says that ESG considerations have become a key part of the firm’s overall investment risk assessment and notes that when assessing ESG in collectives, the firm looks at it at an asset manager level and at the strategy level.

‘In the case of direct investments, we perform our own screening methods to assess ESG criteria,’ he adds.
 

 

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Elizabeth Savage

Rathbones

Elizabeth Savage joined Rathbones in 2005 and is now head of research. She is responsible for overseeing the research team and is also a member of the firm’s investment executive committee.

She initially joined the firm 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, subsequently becoming a hedge fund analyst. She was promoted to head of research in 2014.

On the funds side, she works on the Rathbone Multi-Asset Strategic Growth Portfolio, alongside head of multi-asset David Coombs.

Savage graduated from Newcastle University with a BA in geography in 2001 and holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation and the Investment Management Certificate.

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Melissa Scaramellini

Quilter Cheviot

CFA charterholder Melissa Scaramellini works on the research team at Quilter Cheviot, which she joined in October 2006. She graduated with a degree in economics and politics from the University of Bristol, after which she joined Schroders Investment Management, where she spent five years.

In her current role, Scaramellini focuses on alternatives, chairing the alternatives committee and sitting on the investment funds committee. She also contributes to discussion around model portfolio holdings. She says that recently the number of funds on the buy list has somewhat reduced, although it still features 328 products.

Out of the alternatives bucket, the best performer has been the Marshall Wace Tops Ucits fund. On ESG becoming an important part of the firm’s considerations when investing, she says: ‘When evaluating funds, one of our considerations is how the fund manager incorporates ESG factors into their investment process, alongside all the other metrics they may use to assess investments. ESG is a standard part of a meeting agenda with all managers.’

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Ben Seager-Scott

Tilney

If Ben Seager-Scott was not a chief investment strategist at Tilney, he would be a scuba-diving futurist philosopher lifeboat-man. With a biochemistry doctorate under his belt, Seager-Scott began his career at Bristol’s Whitechurch Securities analysing biotechnology equities, before joining Tilney Bestinvest as a senior fund analyst in 2011.

He now also analyses bonds, alternatives, alternative Ucits, mixed assets, property and commodities around the world, and heads the firm’s fund research.

He sits on committees for asset allocation, fund selection and stock selection, and is responsible for developing the house investment strategy.

He expects the ongoing charges figure for active funds to remain the same. ‘I think ongoing competition will continue to weigh on average/mediocre fund managers under pressure from ultra-low cost passives,’ he says. ‘Against that, I think we will see less pressure on the few high quality managers who will be able to justify charging a premium for truly adding significant after-fees value for clients.’

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Rob Seifert

Brooks Macdonald

A chartered accountant and CISI chartered wealth manager, Rob Seifert has more than 20 years’ experience in financial services. After managing investments at Cheviot Asset Management for several years, he joined Brooks Macdonald in 2011, where he has since been running bespoke discretionary portfolios for a range of clients. He is also a member of the firm’s charity services investment team and ethical research team, which has developed a separate ESG buy list for clients with such a focus.

When he is considering funds to seed, Seifert says he looks for niche products, differentiators, strong and understandable processes and, in some cases, track records. He says the best investment call he made this year was retaining an overweight in US equities and technology companies. Conversely, ‘with the increase in volatility, some of our trend-following funds in the alternatives space have underperformed on a relative basis’.

If he was not managing investment portfolios, he would be surfing.
 

 

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Mona Shah

Stonehage Fleming

Mona Shah joined Stonehage Fleming in September bringing 11 years of experience to the newly created role of director of investment strategy and research.

In her new position she selects and reviews managers for multi-asset portfolios and sits on Stonehage’s investment committee. With expertise in manager selection across long-only, hedge funds, ETFs and structured products, Shah has appeared in multiple editions of our Top 100.

A CFA charterholder, she has a first class degree in economics and politics from the University of Bristol. Shah previously worked at Rathbones, where she was responsible for fund selection across a range of the firm’s long-only and alternative investment strategies. She also led a team of analysts and contributed to the management of multi-asset collectives at the firm.

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Peter Sleep

7IM

Peter Sleep joined Seven Investment Management (7IM) 11 years ago and is now a senior portfolio manager at the company, with £4 billion in personal assets under management.

At the firm, which itself has £12 billion in assets under management, he analyses bonds, equities, alternatives, property and commodities throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

Sleep, who is also a chartered accountant, is a member of 7IM’s investment committee. He says the fund on his buy list which has performed the best in the last 12 months is Tobam EM equity, while the most recent addition was the Legal & General Real Estate Dividend Index fund.

He points to Robeco Quant High Yield fund as one of the industry’s underrated outperformers.

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Nic Spicer

PortfolioMetrix

Nic Spicer has come a long way since lecturing actuarial science and statistics at his alma mater in Johannesburg and interning at BMW’s financial controlling department in Munich.

After relocating to London in 2007, he worked for a boutique investment manager for several years before joining PortfolioMetrix in 2012. He is currently the firm’s UK head of research, as well as a portfolio manager.

A CFA charterholder, Spicer is a member of PortfolioMetrix’s global investment committee and heads the UK distribution business. ESG factors are now a mainstream consideration in his investment process. ‘ESG forms a component of our due diligence on all funds, but we also have a dedicated ethical emphasis approach that only uses funds that have a positive impact,’ he says.

A fund he is excited about ‘in terms of raw potential’ is Man GLG Japan Core Alpha.
 

 

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Matthew Stanesby

Close Brothers Asset Management

Matthew Stanesby joined Close Brothers Asset Management more than 11 years ago and is currently an investment director at the firm. Besides selecting and monitoring fund managers, Stanesby also heads the manager research team and runs the firm’s Managed and Tactical Select range of multi-asset funds.

Before Close Brothers, he spent nine years each at Mercer Investments and Aon Hewitt, where he worked within the life insurance, pensions and investment spheres.

He personally runs £750 million in assets under management, while the firm has a total of £12 billion. Close has a buy list of 285 products, and Stanesby highlights Sloane Robinson Emerging Markets as a top pick.

Stanesby is a first class honours graduate in mathematics and engineering from Nottingham University, but in another life, he says, he would be a professional dancer.

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Oliver Stone

Fairstone Private Wealth

Oliver Stone dived into the world of financial services in September 2008, gaining a crash course in portfolio management and investment research through turbulent market conditions. He later joined Fairstone Private Wealth in 2012 to build out its investment propositions.

He was promoted to group head of research in 2015 and lead manager on the MPS service in 2017, where he is directly responsible for overseeing £400 million of assets.

The firm has 366 active funds on its buy list and 58 passive funds, with one ETF. Stone says Fairstone is working with its more expensive fund managers to cut costs.

He adds: ‘We feel that especially ancillary costs… are too high for no good reason – for example having lots of different share classes.

‘This seems to be too often the case for very large funds where surely the large AUM base gives them the ability to reduce charges to investors.’

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Patrick Thomas

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management

After spending a year working for the United Nations, Patrick Thomas joined Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management in 2010 and started covering emerging markets, Japanese and absolute return funds, before going on to manage the firm’s model portfolio service.

Last year, he began developing Canaccord’s ESG portfolio offering, which it launched in June this year and currently has around £50 million in assets. He was also promoted last month to head of ESG investments and now has personal assets under management of £350 million.

His top fund pick is Impax Environmental Markets, which has returned 67.5% over three years, compared with the sector average of 60.4%.

On the fund, Thomas says: ‘It’s got very good long-term numbers, and it’s really different in that it gives you exposure to mid cap environmental technology companies. It’s very unlikely you’ll have crossover holdings in other funds.’

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Charlie Underwood

James Hambro & Partners

Having been enticed by James Hambro to move away from then Credit Suisse-owned JO Hambro Investment Management to set up the new firm, Charlie Underwood is now personally responsible for £500 million of assets at the company.

A portfolio manager at the firm, Underwood has primary responsibility for US equities and third-party collective investments. He looks after a variety of clients, including onshore and offshore private clients, and trusts and charities.

He picks out the T Rowe Price Japan fund, managed by Citywire AAA-rated Archibald Ciganer, as a hidden gem and says it is all about net performance when determining value for money in a fund. Underwood also highlights the Polar Capital Global Technology fund as his best performer over the last 12 months and has most recently added the Schroder European fund to his buy list.

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Vanshree Verma

Deutsche Bank Wealth Management

After starting her career at Barclays in 2006, before an eight-month spell as an associate at Lehman Brothers in 2008, Vanshree Verma spent the past eight years at Deutsche Bank, working across its wealth and asset management divisions.

Now a fund analyst on the wealth side, Verma has been a mainstay of Wealth Manager’s Top 100 in recent years. Focusing on bond and mixed asset funds, she says funds or managers need to have a one-year track record before getting on Deutsche Bank Wealth Management’s buy list as the firm does not seed funds. Instead, it prefers to see a medium-term track record for a strategy that has ideally been tested in several market environments.

On a structural basis, she adds the firm has done ‘a lot of work’ on impact investing and environment, social and governance (ESG) themes, with clients now having several options to choose from in this area.

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Gary Waite

Walker Crips

Gary Waite started his career as a government economist in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport before becoming a junior hedge fund manager at CTC. Since then, he has worked as an equities analyst in Australia and a director within a European equities team at BlackRock. As well as the IMC, he holds the SII Level 3 Certificate in Investment and the Australian PS146 accreditation.

He joined Walker Crips in 2013 to head its office in Swansea, the firm’s first presence in Wales, alongside former BlackRock colleague Andrew Morgan. The firm recently adopted an ethical screen for its Alpha: r2 managed portfolio service, run by Waite, who says ‘evidence suggests that companies with a record of strong corporate governance outperform over the long term’.

Outside of work, Waite has been a voluntary counsellor for ChildLine and currently works in a voluntary capacity for the homeless charity Crisis.

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Lucy Walker

Sarasin & Partners

Lucy Walker joined Sarasin & Partners as a fund analyst in 2011 and has since worked her way to become head of third-party funds, managing a team responsible for £1.9 billion of assets under advice.

A member of Sarasin’s investment policy committee, responsible for setting firm-wide policy for its £14 billion total assets under management, Walker has previously spoken about seeking alternative sources of alpha from asset classes such as private equity, as well as merger arbitrage and equity beta neutral funds.

Walker says the high levels of M&A activity is a good starting point for skilled managers to harvest deal spreads, while also avoiding deals that are unlikely to complete. She also likes equity beta neutral strategies, as opposed to market neutral, as they more accurately reduce correlation to equity markets, in her view.

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Rupert Webb

WH Ireland

Having joined WH Ireland as an investment manager in 2010, Rupert Webb has been integral to the development of many of the firm’s processes and services. Webb helped set up the central investment process WH Ireland has used for the past five years, and recently co-established its Navigator Portfolio, a service for clients with £20,000 to £150,000 of assets.

Webb also holds responsibilities on WH Ireland’s collectives, stock selection, asset allocation and portfolio construction committees. He personally manages £50 million in client assets, and highlights the Morgan Stanley Asia Opportunity fund as his hidden gem.

His killer question to fund managers regards their worst investment decision – what led to the decision, how it was rectified and what the manager learned from it.

Webb regards reducing allocation to emerging markets in favour of the US his best investment call this year, and being overly bearish on tech as his worst.

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Jonathan Webster-Smith

Brooks Macdonald

Jonathan Webster-Smith joined Brooks Macdonald as a trainee investment manager in 2001 and has been with the company ever since, working his way up to become head of its multi-asset team.

He has personal responsibility for £2.5 billion of assets under management and is a member of the firm’s asset allocation committee. He says a UK micro cap fund on his buy list has performed best over the last 12 months, and when seeding funds looks for niche products or a fund that will ‘differentiate itself from others… and some evidence that the manager has experience in the field’.

Webster-Smith has a degree in economics and French from the University of Southampton, and says he would be a ski instructor if he was not working in investment management.

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Jim Wood-Smith

Hawksmoor Investment Management

A decade on from the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Hawksmoor Investment Management’s private client chief investment officer (CIO) Jim Wood-Smith believes it would not be too surprising if another market crash was around the corner.

He believes the global economy, the ‘lifeblood of the equity bull market’, has been ‘as dull as it has ever been’ and says that suggestions of another recession and ‘gigantic market crash’ would be ‘rather popular’ among market participants at the moment.

Wood-Smith has been a CIO at Hawksmoor for almost five years, having joined the firm in January 2014 from Investec Wealth & Investment, where he was chief investment strategist. Prior to that, he was head of research at Williams de Broë before it was acquired by Investec. He has been in the industry for 24 years.
 

 

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Nick Wood

Quilter Cheviot

After joining Quilter Cheviot as a fund analyst in 2012, Nick Wood was promoted to head of investment fund research in 2015, following a reshuffle. He leads a team which has dual research responsibilities for both Quilter Cheviot and the Old Mutual multi-asset team.

The number of funds on Quilter Cheviot’s buy list has reduced over the last 12 months to 328, but Wood says the firm continues to add new ideas where appropriate. It has 50 ETFs and 40 passively managed funds on its buy list, as well as a smart beta fund, and Wood says the ‘steady shift’ into passive investing is the biggest industry change he has seen in the past 10 years.

Wood has a BSc in economics and an MSc in Russian and European studies from the University of Birmingham, and has been in the industry for 20 years, having started his career at Capital International.

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