Brewin Dolphin has launched a dedicated financial planning research service covering tax wrappers for the firm’s in-house planners, and has brought together its open-ended and closed-end teams as part of a broader overhaul.
The integration of the open-ended and closed-end teams represents a shift for the national wealth management firm, which allocates around £7 billion to open-ended funds and holds around £3 billion in investment trusts. The move will see all analysts covering both for the first time.
Research head Matthew Butcher (pictured) said it would bring greater efficiencies and consistency to the group’s investment decisions.
He added the revamp of its manager research had been linked to the launch of a financial planning research function, which covers self-invested personal pensions, offshore bonds and stakeholder pensions. This is currently headed by Butcher, with input from divisional director James Brooks and analyst John Sheehan.
With a growing number of clients opting for an integrated financial planning and investment management service, Butcher said it was important for both teams to work closely together, and the decision to integrate the research teams was linked to this. While Brewin is operating under the restricted banner following the retail distribution review, Butcher said the firm believed it was important to provide research on all wrappers.
The new research division will also stand Brewin in good stead if it does move to independent status at a later point, he added.
Following the changes to the process, Butcher expects the firm to expand its open-ended buy list, whereas many rivals have shrank their lists.
‘I fully expect our unit trust list to grow by 15 to 20 funds over the course of the next month. This will take us from 80 to 100. I expect a number of new names to come through.
‘I worry many of the buy lists in the industry are starting to look similar, with the net effect that we are seeing funds get larger and closing,’ he said, adding the team is willing to back smaller and more nimble funds.
On the investment trust side, he expects the buy list to become more concentrated but with higher turnover, in response to discounts moving in and out.