At Legal & Medical, we continue to seek ways of improving our service and offerings to our clients. Our latest step is to engage an external investment house to strengthen the research capabilities of our investment committee. As our client accounts grow and the number of assets under management increases, it makes sense to look at ways we can make the management of the portfolios more agile without losing focus on the value that we offer and, ultimately, the returns that you see in your investment.
We also recognise that our communication would benefit from being enhanced through regular quarterly reporting that enables clients to keep up to date with both; the macroeconomic environment and the performance of their investments. We are delighted that this project is coming to fruition after several years of seeking a partner to work alongside our investment committee. Following a series of meetings, we are confident we have selected the company with the closest match to our own culture.
Why use a Discretionary Manager
There are several benefits to working with what is known as a “Discretionary Manager”, and most importantly, the service they offer. To date, our client portfolios are largely managed on an ‘advisory’ basis; this means that when we want to make any changes to your portfolios, we have to obtain written consent from the account holder in order to move money from one fund to another. This procedure to make amendments is time-consuming and cumbersome. We have therefore looked to partner with a company that has the licence to operate on a discretionary basis, meaning when fund changes are necessary, the switch can be made swiftly without needing to wait for confirmation, enabling us to take advantage of opportunities that may arise or to modify the balance of the portfolios to reduce the impact of downward market movements.
However, this does not mean we have been acting as speculators. We will still use the current basis for assessing risk and match the investment you make to your appetite for market volatility; this will be within the parameters of being able to increase or decrease your equity exposure appropriately to the given environment. Having spoken to several of our clients, it is clear that removing the need to reply to fund switch requests would be a positive step.
Why we choose Copia Capital Management
During 2021 and 2022, we assessed the market for available companies for a partnership, looking for one that wanted to work with us collaboratively managing the portfolios. It has been and still remains a central belief for us that we should obviously, make responsible decisions with your money and engage in those decisions on an ongoing basis rather than outsourcing the process entirely, which would leave you in someone else’s hands. We whittled down the market to four companies and met all of them on several occasions to assess the best fit.
Having completed this process, Legal & Medical is delighted to have appointed Copia Capital Management to work alongside us as a Discretionary Asset Manager. They have a team of analysts with excellent research capabilities and will use their expertise to build portfolios to our specifications. They aim to identify funds that deliver returns above what could be achieved through the market generally, as well as identify assets that further increase diversification in the portfolio consistent with our investment philosophy.
Copia Capital Management spends its time almost exclusively reviewing the macro-economic environment and meeting with fund managers to gauge which strategies are robust and have a process and purpose that meets the mandates of those portfolios. They have extremely strict requirements for processes to be documented, and the administration of the portfolio is subject to checks and balances, meaning your money is secure in their hands.
Their position, close to the heart of the investment world, gives them closer insights into market views and perhaps earlier knowledge of opportunities and threats than is possible for Legal & Medical to have alone. That said, there is a lot to be said for some distancing, providing perspective. Therefore, in Copia, Legal & Medical feel we have found a partner who wants to hear our views and acknowledge our experience; this only helps to enhance what exists rather than replace it. Copia operates in a niche market and understands our client’s aims and goals.
Evidence of this is that Copia and Legal & Medical sit together as an investment committee, and the appointment of Copia’s Head of Investments to chair our investment committee will provide structure and discipline to the discussions at our quarterly reviews. To date, suggestions from both sides of the fence have been taken on board and are reflected in the portfolio mandates and funds selected.
Copia Capital Management is a boutique investment house who do not offer services directly to the public, only via firms such as Legal & Medical Investments. Through the quarterly reviews, using the risk barometer to judge whether it is time to step into or away from risk in the portfolios, we will:
- Regularly rebalance your portfolio if appropriate and review any fund or asset switches.
- Select cost-effective providers to manage and administer your money.
- Provide economies of scale when accessing funds ensuring charges can be reduced, compared to purchasing the funds directly.
- Manage each portfolio in accordance with the asset allocation and risk mandate as agreed with Copia by Legal & Medical.
This Discretionary approach also offers an additional benefit not already outlined. If your adviser is unavailable or away on leave, your money will continue to be managed, so as not to affect your relationship or any planning that you undertake with your adviser; this will only serve to supplement and enhance it.
You will hear more about our new partnership in due course or at review meetings with your usual adviser. We have already launched our new Active Range, along with our Passive Blend Range. ESG portfolios are to follow imminently, so please keep checking our website and future newsletters for updates!
To view our current portfolio factsheets click here >