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Martin Baines, Chief Executive of Quilter Cheviot, explains his firm’s history and its approach to serving a client base with a very broad range of investment management needs.

Can you please briefly describe Quilter Cheviot’s history and how the firm now stands in term of its UK presence?

Our heritage dates back to 1771 when William Morris and Sons was formed. This was a partnership of 150 stockbrokers which created a club at Jonathan’s Coffee House. Two years later, The London Stock Exchange was born in a building in Sweetings Alley, with a dealing room on the ground floor and a coffee house above.

Old Mutual Wealth reached agreement with Bridgepoint to acquire Quilter Cheviot in October 2014 with the transaction completing in February 2015.

Our ability to adapt and evolve has led to us being a business at the forefront of the sector for over 200 years.

Throughout our history, our standards and values have remained consistent. Our impartial approach, high standards in personal service, drive to build and preserve the wealth of our clients and belief in the importance of a robust investment and underlying processes have remained unchanged.

We manage over 37,500 client mandates and as 31 March 2015, had £17.5 bn under management, making us one of the largest investment management firms in the UK.

What is included in the full range of wealth management services Quilter Cheviot offers?

Quilter Cheviot focuses on structuring and managing bespoke portfolios for private clients, professional intermediaries, charities, trusts and pension funds. We have no financial planning arm and do not provide any banking or lending services.

Discretionary portfolio service (DPS)

Within our core service (DPS) we devise and manage individually tailored portfolios for our clients with investments starting at £200,000. We use our discretion to reflect our clients’ needs using a robust, consistent, and repeatable investment process. Our client’s stated investment objectives always take priority. We take day-to-day responsibility for managing clients’ portfolios, reviewing asset allocation and the underlying investments whilst maintaining regular contact with the client.

Managed portfolio service (MPS)

Our MPS service provides a range pre-determined discretionary investment portfolios offering diversified exposure to global financial markets for investments from £25,000. Investments are made exclusively in collective investment schemes to provide greater diversification. Clients can choose from a range of strategies, from Cautious (low-risk) to Global Growth (high-risk), depending on their investment needs and attitude to risk

Collective funds

We manage a variety of collective funds; some being on-shore and some off-shore structures, there are currently five funds. This fund range provides clients access to our investment expertise through a unitised structure, for clients with £1,000 or more to invest. We also provide investment management services to third-party collective funds.

What does a typical client of Quilter Cheviot “look like” and what are they trying to achieve?

We offer investment management services to a wide range of clients, including private clients, trusts, charities, pension funds and their professional advisers.

Our clients cover all stages of life ranging from young entrepreneurs to those entering their retirement years.

How does Quilter Cheviot go about devising investment strategies and building portfolios which suit each individual client’s profile and needs?

  • Philosophy

We are firm believers in active investment management in terms of both the strategic asset allocation and security selection, but with no permanent bias towards a single investment style.

Our investment process combines our top-down view, based largely on macro-economic inputs and market valuations, with bottom-up recommendations from our team of in-house analysts.

At a strategic level, Quilter Cheviot’s portfolios are centred on the long-term returns expected from asset classes, enhanced by exploiting market inefficiencies. We also make active, shorter-term, tactical asset allocation decisions.

  • Research

Quilter Cheviot is determined to meet the challenges of a dynamic market environment within an investment framework that combines the skills of a dedicated research team with those of experienced investment managers, to provide the optimum return for our clients.

Quilter Cheviot has a central group of highly-experienced investment personnel with between 10 and 20 years’ service, who form our investment, asset allocation and sector/asset class specialist groups. These groups work closely with a well-resourced research team staffed by 20 analysts and sector specialists. They draw on internal and external research provided by a number of leading research providers to identify investments suitable for inclusion in our portfolios.

Portfolio Construction

  • Discretionary Portfolio Service

An appropriate investment strategy will be agreed with the client and a portfolio constructed to meet their requirements. Our emphasis is on a bespoke and tailored approach designed to meet our clients’ evolving circumstances. We believe the investor’s involvement is fundamental to the construction of an appropriate portfolio.

  • Managed Portfolio Service

Our Managed Portfolio Service provides a number of standardised strategies suitable for a range of risk profiles. Asset allocations and investment selections are made by our Managed Portfolio Service team which reflect our current house views. These portfolios are then published to financial advisory firms, and their clients, who then determine which of those individual strategies best matches individual risk appetites and investment objectives. Regular monthly updates and factsheets are published to ensure investors remain fully informed as to the makeup of the portfolios.

Risk Management

We have a number of measures designed to control investment risk. These include limiting active money at both a geographic and industry sector level. Equally, a minimum number of direct equity holdings (where applicable) per geographic region provides a base level of diversification.

Quantitative risk controls such as tracking error, beta and liquidity analysis are used where appropriate. In-house systems provide supplementary portfolio monitoring capabilities in areas such as general client guidelines and stock or asset class restrictions. Risk controls are supplemented with management controls.

We monitor stock concentration at a client and firm level. For direct security holdings (other than collectives) the concentration threshold is triggered when the current market value exceeds 10% of the portfolio value for equities (at the “client” level) or 20% for individual corporate bonds.

How would you describe Quilter Cheviot’s ethos and approach when it comes to servicing clients?

Our ethos is one of personal service, which is demonstrated in the long-standing relationships we have developed, with many spanning several generations of the same family. This has led to a strong sense of continuity and new introductions from our existing clients are testament to the trust built through our approach.

When it comes to investments, we make it personal. We believe that successful investment management is as much about understanding the investor, as it is about understanding the investments. Investment managers work closely with clients’ to understand their requirements, putting them at the forefront of every investment decision.

What is distinctive about Quilter Cheviot, either in terms of its investment process or its manner of servicing clients? 

  • With over £17.5bn (as at March 31 2015) funds under management we have institutional buying power, reducing costs deducted from clients’ portfolios.
  • Our investment managers have an average of 19 years’ investment experience.
  • Clients with portfolios of all size can access our investment strategies through a three-tiered proposition comprising Discretionary Portfolio Service (DPS), Managed Portfolio Service (MPS), and award winning Libero Fund range as well as bespoke OEIC solutions.
  • Our core Discretionary Portfolio Service (DPS) provides individually tailored portfolios for our clients that meet their investment objectives and personal risk requirements.
  • We have a strong emphasis on research and analysis, specialising in innovative and well researched investment ideas. This means clients can be confident that all monitored investments held in their portfolios are fully researched and have been subject to due diligence.

How does Quilter Cheviot help clients engage more effective with the management of their wealth?

We believe an essential part of truly personal service is keeping clients’ informed and up to date. Therefore, clients’ will receive a comprehensive report of your investments every six months. If they need to receive these reports on a more or less frequent basis, we’re happy to cater for those needs. You can access your portfolio online at any time or by using our convenient iPhone and iPad app.

We also provide regular market commentaries, devised by our extensively experienced investment managers that provide key insight into the investment markets. This provides our clients’ with the invaluable market information that’s required to truly understand and contribute to investment decisions and the investment process.

If you’d like to start a conversation with Quilter Cheviot please contact the Find a Wealth Manager team HERE.  They will ensure you get direct access to the investment professional who matches your profile.