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Sipp Spotlight: How does Rowanmoor measure up?

Rowanmoor Sipp comes under inspection this week, offering a range of commercial property investment options and links to stockbrokers, fund supermarkets and platforms.

Business information

Number of Sipps 2,587

Total Sipp assets £290 million

Average size of individual Sipp £112,000

Profit for latest financial year for which figures are available £415,000

Turnover for latest financial year for which figures are available £12.2 million

Available investments

All HM Revenue & Customs non-taxable investments are allowed, though Rowanmoor may perform additional due diligence on some of them before accepting them.

· Structured products

· Equities, warrants and bonds

· Hedge funds and other alternative investment funds

· Foreign exchange contracts

· Unquoted shares

· Commercial property, including overseas

· Prisons, care homes and public houses

· Hotel rooms, including overseas

· Secured or unsecured loans to unconnected third parties

· Harvestable commodities and plantations including green oil, teak oil, rubber and timber, Carbon credits

Esoteric assets

Carbon offsets, forestry, gold bullion, trademarks and future income royalties

How many funds can Sipp investors choose from?

No limit, subject to ownership checks.

Charges

Establishment £325

Annual administration £475

Contributions

Cash Nil

In specie £200 per arrangement plus; £75 per asset re-registration

Transfer out

Cash £225 per arrangement

In specie £625 per arrangement

Investment fees

Establishing a portfolio with an existing investment partner Nil

Establishing a portfolio with a new investment partner £50

Direct investments (basic) £50

Direct investments (complex) £200 per transaction

Overseas investments Time cost

Ad hoc Sipp valuation £50

Property

Purchase/acquisition/transfer £525

Sale/disposal £365

Property development 1% of development costs up to £1,000

Annual property charge £200 per property

Leases (other than at property acquisition) £200

Benefits

Pension commencement lump sum £60 per event

Payment of pension under PAYE £60 set-up and per adjustment, £125 a year for regular payment of pension

Other features

Group Sipp No

Family Sipp Yes

Scheme pension Yes

Drawdown, flexible, capped and phased drawdown Yes

Phased retirement? Yes

Online SIPPView service, including valuations, financial transactions, asset holdings, benefit details and adviser fees

Platform links

Links can be made to any platform. The Sipp also has investment partnership links with stockbrokers, fund supermarkets and other investment platforms. Rowanmoor will waive £50 set-up charge in these cases and the £50 charge for ad hoc valuations with partners with which it has automated data links.

Adviser view

Phil Dendy, managing director, Petrus Financial Services

The clients who use Rowanmoor are high net worth, with more than £500,000 of assets, and have more complex financial needs. Rowanmoor is not the only Sipp provider we use but we use it where clients need something more bespoke.

It offers a dedicated client manager, who will hold joint sessions with me and the client to talk through the investments. This approach is helpful for more sophisticated investors with complex investments who would not be satisfied by the packaged approach of other Sipp providers.

We have three client service levels and Rowanmoor Sipp is used for the middle segment because it is good at complex property arrangements. A typical client in this segment might be a business owner who is looking to expand but cannot get lending from the banks.

We often use it for situations where the property [held in the Sipp] is more than just a big warehouse. Some Sipp providers are only good at dealing with fairly standard types of commercial property.

Take a property that has some residential use attached to it, such as a caretaker’s flat. Most Sipp providers would find that too difficult to deal with, but Rowanmoor will talk that through with HM Revenue & Customs. It can be creative. It might separate the freehold of the property from the leasehold of the flat and deal with them separately.

We also use unlisted shares.

Rowanmoor is not particularly expensive but we use Standard Life for lower tier clients with investment in collectives, and AXA and Suffolk Life for other commercial property investments.

We have about 20 to 30 clients in the Rowanmoor Sipp, which is about £5 million of assets under advice, and we have been using them for seven to eight years.