Our approach

Investment philosophy

We aim to generate the best possible returns, in line with expectations and appetite for risk.

In our view, active management expressed across diversified, multi-asset portfolios is the best way to achieve superior performance.

We do this through:

  • Expert asset allocation
  • Intensive research
  • Identifying high-quality, liquid securities at attractive valuations
  • Rigorous risk management
  • Risk models created with the assistance of Moody's Analytics data - a leading name in economic research and risk management

Our approach is always long-term. We focus on real returns, the right balance of growth and income, and ways to preserve wealth. Investment expertise is at the heart of our service, but we can also use best-in-class external funds or passive instruments. We will not invest in products where it is unclear how returns are generated, or where we are unable to carry out thorough due diligence.

Investment management is complex. But for us, it all comes down to one simple, but vital goal. Using all our years of experience and combined expertise to deliver the optimum results.

Active management

We constantly review investment markets and our portfolios, so we can move rapidly to protect clients’ interests or capture new opportunities.

Diversification

One of the key factors in enhancing performance, while managing risk. Within each asset class – equities, bonds, alternatives and cash – we use in-depth research to seek out the best individual investments.

Liquid investments

We favour securities that we can buy and sell quickly. This allows us to make valuable tactical shifts, or move into cash if required.

Expertise

Collectively, our 55 investment professionals have decades of experience in macro-economic analysis and global asset allocation, asset classes and industry sectors, passive strategies (including counterparty risk) and third party funds.

Risk management

More than simply a way to assess and control risk, our disciplined process and regular monitoring ensures that portfolios always operate within the limits.

Investment process

In order to deliver optimal investment outcomes and to meet the varying requirements of our diverse investor base and help you achieve your clients' financial goals, we have adopted a disciplined investment process.

It has six main components:

  • Understanding the investment needs of your clients
  • Diversification across asset classes
  • Active, tactical asset allocation
  • A collegial approach to decision making through committee meetings
  • Intensive research
  • Risk and performance oversight

Diversification across asset classes

We use a combination of asset classes as the building blocks for our portfolios: shares, bonds (government and corporate) and alternatives. Each asset class contributes to performance in a different and complementary way.

Shares represent a share of ownership in a business. They tend to offer the best opportunities for generating long-term capital growth as well as income in the form of dividends but also carry a greater degree of risk.

Fixed income securities can be defined as a loan to either a company (corporate bond) or a government, for example the UK (Gilts). These loans can help to diversify portfolio returns away from equities, while also providing a reliable source of income although it can come at the expense of capital growth.

Our allocations to alternative investments tend to be a wall proportion of portfolios. we focus on liquid, alternative investments such as property, infrastructure, commodities and absolute return funds.

For all investment, our decision-making process includes a review of currency risk as part of the investment rationale for each asset class and security.

Active, tactical asset allocation

There can be prolonged periods when asset class returns deviate from their long-term trends. Therefore, we need to be willing to be active investors from both an asset allocation and security selection perspective.

We arrive at our tactical asset allocation decision through our quarterly Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) meetings. The committee is charged by our Chief Investment Officer and attended by all senior investment professionals. These meetings are complemented by an ongoing discussion of key economic and market trends.

Additional oversight is provided by monthly research meetings, weekly Multi Asset Committee meetings (where we discuss and review the tactical weightings) and a continuous flow of company management and fund manager meetings.

The purpose of tactical asset allocation is to enhance returns and minis losses by making adjustments to the s tragic framework. When making decision, we aim to tilt portfolios to reflect prevailing market conditions, but not in a way that would alter a strategy's risk profile fundamentally.

A collegial approach to decision making

We use a broad range of inputs at our Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) meetings, including:

  • Our proprietary asset allocation model, which looks at the relative attractiveness of different asset classes based on valuation, earnings and macroeconomic factors.
  • A systematic evaluation of market and economic data taking into consideration changes in growth, value, liquidity, currency and management.
  • Input from leading research strategists.
The final application this decision is at the discretion of the investment team. In other words, we combine collegially-generated investment strategies with tailoring to meeting individual objectives. As a result, all investors benefits from the disciplines of a centralised approach with the personal attention and customisation they require.

Intensive research

We are active investors not just from an asset allocation perspective but also in terms of security and fund selection. As well as adding value through tactical asset allocation, we seek to add value through the process of selecting individual investments.

All investment managers have both portfolio and analytical responsibility and contribute to the investment selection process.

Our investment managers are supported by research teams dedicated to finding opportunities in equities, fixed income and alternatives. Our research team is 20 strong and is a valuable resource from our investment managers.

In line with our collegial approach, we hold regular research meetings to debate new investment ideas, confirm our security selection and listen to the views of external specialists.

The output from these meetings is a broad range of investment ideas - the Close Bothers Core Universe. They appear in portfolios in different ways depending on the mandate.

Risk and performance oversight

We have a proprietary risk and performance system which monitors adherence to risk profiles and provides analysis of the key attributes of portfolios as well as the sources of performance. This is important not only from a compliance and suitability perspective but helps inform our reviews with our and your clients'.

Adding value through independent insight

We have created risk models with the assistance of Moody’s Analytics data. This enables us to:

  • Identify the optimum mix of asset classes
  • Match client needs with risks more precisely
  • Achieve greater clarity over risk and return expectations

A collegial approach

Our 55 investment professionals work together in a close-knit environment, challenging each other’s views and sharing ideas and insights. With an average of 20 years’ investment experience, they are all members of a wider team, so there is always someone available to answer your questions.




How we invest


Equities

We use intensive research to identify the strongest opportunities. We favour attractively priced, high-quality companies with an improving business profile and a track record of growing shareholder value. Our team includes six research analysts with over 50 years’ combined experience, and 14 investment managers, all sector specialists.

Fixed income

This can add a degree of certainty to a portfolio, by generating predictable cash flows with relatively low volatility. Our aim is always to grow wealth prudently over the long term, so we focus on finding safe, high-quality, liquid bonds. Typically these will be sovereign debt and high-grade corporate bonds in developed markets. We also invest in unrated bonds that have the potential to be upgraded, and index-linked securities to reduce inflation and interest rate risk.

Alternatives

Commercial property, infrastructure, commodities and absolute returns can help to diversify risk within a portfolio, while offering the potential for enhanced returns that are uncorrelated to traditional asset classes.

Active funds

We will use third-party funds where we do not have the appropriate expertise, or the investment remit requires them. Our fund manager research team identifies those that are the best in their sector or region, across all asset classes. Past performance must be in line with the fund’s approach and objectives. It must be clear how the manager has generated value in different market conditions.

Passives

Funds that track an index can complement managed portfolio by providing cost-effective exposure to global stock markets. We look for investments that offer low cost, low tracking error, low counterparty risk, and high liquidity.

Financial planning process

Planning for an even brighter future

Your clients have complex financial needs and responsibilities. A cohesive financial plan will help to ensure they can achieve the goals they have set for themselves, and for the next generation.

We believe investments and financial planning are two sides of the same coin; they work best when they work together. We are one of the few asset managers able to offer this integrated approach.

We know that every individual or family is unique, with its own problems and priorities. Working with you, our expert planners can help determine exactly what it is your client wants to achieve – now, and in the years to come. They will then create a robust yet flexible plan, exclusively tailored to their needs.

As a trusted adviser, our planner will assess every aspect of your client’s financial circumstances across all jurisdictions, including cash assets, investments, pensions, property, shareholdings, and income and liquidity needs. They will also take the time to get to know their financial personality – how they feel about volatility, their return expectations, and which type of assets they prefer.

We can then explain:

  • How to achieve a desired level of return, at lower risk
  • Ways to balance their short-term lifestyle needs with their long-term requirements
  • How to optimise their tax position
  • How to protect their family and their wealth if the unexpected happens
  • The best way to plan for later life, and pass wealth on to the next generation
Your client’s needs will evolve over time. Tax laws and investment regulations will also change. So we will review their plan regularly, to make sure it stays true to their objectives.

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