Thesis Asset Management is a firm believer in working in partnership with financial advisers and Steve Neal (Regional Director) describes this eloquently in this video interview . You can watch the video here or read the summary below.
How does Thesis work with financial advisers?
We believe the relationship with clients works best when someone can draw together their financial affairs in one place, get clients to articulate their financial objectives and then put a financial plan in place.
Financial advisers can cover a range of products, tax scenarios, debt management and mortgages, which Thesis can’t do. This is the adviser’s role and we expect the adviser to take on suitability for investment recommendations, risk assessment, tax wrappers put in place. Thesis set the asset allocation for the level of risk and select the holdings within the portfolio.
The adviser is then responsible for reporting on this to the client.
What services do Thesis deliver?
We like to take a flexible approach. It starts with core investment processes built around research teams and process, along with an asset allocation that lends itself to seven defined risk mandates. We run these both on platforms and in our Thesis nominee.
Also, based on our seven risk mandates we offer a unitised discretionary service, the Optima fund range. There are three funds available across the risk spectrum, which are beneficial to clients from a CGT perspective, keeps things very simple and minimises trading. We have combined the simplicity of a unit trust but with direct investment into UK Equities. This is a real differentiator and means the client benefits from a genuine DFM portfolio within a collective structure.
We also use our research capability to provide bespoke models for adviser firms. This works really well if an adviser seeks a core solution for their centralised investment proposition.
Another, more traditional service is the provision of a bespoke service for clients who may have certain investment preferences or restrictions (e.g. an ethical bias) and for clients who may require a personalised service that can’t be achieved by using a model portfolio.
How do advisers benefit from the services you provide?
When we engage with advisers, we view it as a partnership. We want to understand the financial planning tools and third party providers they operate with. We try to make our services available via as many platforms and third party products as we can.
Risk mapping is very important and we try to align our investment mandates with adviser risk assessment processes through formal risk mapping. In addition, we publish material on asset allocation, tactical changes and market commentary.
What about the benefits to clients?
We aim to deliver consistent reliable outcomes and have professionals who look at the market day in and day out, avoiding liquidity traps and seeking out new asset classes. This enables advisers to have more time to devote to planning for clients, given the daily monitoring of markets and funds can be left to us. The client has reassurance that their adviser and Thesis work together for their benefit.
Our focus is on risk control and delivering the client journey the adviser expects. With many investment markets at giddy heights we find that financial advisers and their clients see our approach to management of risk reassuring.
Do you also work in partnership with other professionals such as lawyers?
Yes, we also work with a variety of professionals and host and sponsor organisations such as the society of Trusts and Estate practitioners (STEP) and the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLA). We believe that many clients need a number of professionals involved in their financial affairs and these individuals can work in collaboration for their benefit. Where possible we bring professionals together and introduce to each other. Thesis can also make referrals to financial planners, lawyers and accountants and truly build partnerships.
However, there may be circumstances when we won’t work with an adviser. For example where they may be unwilling to share information about their client such as objectives or attitude to risk and it would be difficult to work with that adviser if the money were to be invested via our nominee. On platforms we don’t need to have that information shared as the adviser makes the investment selection themselves.
Another scenario might be if the adviser just focuses on short-term investment performance. We like to build partnerships; if a firm is only going to last for a short period of time based on numbers and stats then it is not profitable for either side to be in that relationship.
And do you have any future developments planned?
Yes, we will soon launch a decumulation investment service to deal with sequence risk and pound cost ravaging when a client starts to draw income. We are also building on our ethical capability, which we currently offer for bespoke portfolios, although would like to make this service more widely available.
You can access more information about the services delivered by Thesis Asset Management here.
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