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Wealth Manager Top 100 2017: the next 25 heavyweights

We reveal in alphabetical order the second batch of 25 names in our annual survey on the most influential people in fund selection across the private client industry.   

Wealth Manager Top 100

Welcome to Wealth Manager’s sixth annual Top 100, our guide to the leading fund buyers across the private client world. Once more we have drilled down into the sector to identify the key individuals powering fund selection across wealth management.

All of the companies featured this year allocate over £1 billion apiece into collectives and we are able to provide unique insight into both the size and composition of their buy lists and how they have changed over the year.

There are 24 new faces in the Top 100, reflecting both consolidation and the emergence of young talent coming through the ranks.

We will be revealing the list in alphabetical order in four parts. After revealing the first 25 earlier in the week, we introduce numbers 26-50.

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Wealth Manager Top 100

Welcome to Wealth Manager’s sixth annual Top 100, our guide to the leading fund buyers across the private client world. Once more we have drilled down into the sector to identify the key individuals powering fund selection across wealth management.

All of the companies featured this year allocate over £1 billion apiece into collectives and we are able to provide unique insight into both the size and composition of their buy lists and how they have changed over the year.

There are 24 new faces in the Top 100, reflecting both consolidation and the emergence of young talent coming through the ranks.

We will be revealing the list in alphabetical order in four parts. After revealing the first 25 earlier in the week, we introduce numbers 26-50.

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Alastair Dean

Stonehage Fleming

Having seen more interest from Stonehage Fleming’s client base on environmental, social and governance issues, senior associate Alastair Dean says sustainable criteria is increasingly becoming part of the firm’s investment remit.

‘In a recent survey we conducted with the equity funds on our approved list, more than 80% of them incorporated a range of social and governance factors when selecting securities,’ he says.

Another change this year was an increase in exposure to US value equity at the expense of UK assets, a decision that has played out well for the firm so far.

Dean joined Stonehage Fleming in 2015 from Mazars Financial Planning where he worked in the investment team. He began his career at ABN AMRO after graduating from the London School of Economics in 2007 with a degree in business maths and statistics.

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Stuart Derrick

Cazenove Capital

Stuart Derrick is head of manager selection at Cazenove Capital, which runs a total of £43.6 billion in assets under management. In 2017, Cazenove has benefitted from an overweight allocation to Asian equities, and also enjoyed strong relative performance from the Schroder Asian Alpha Plus fund.

Although there is growing pressure on active funds to lower charges, Derrick is clear that he is seeking value rather than the lowest price. While Cazenove nonetheless strives to pay the lowest fee possible, he explains that cost cutting will not be achieved at the expense of quality.

Derrick believes it is paramount to back managers who stick with their philosophy throughout a market cycle. This has not led to a heavy reliance on any fund house in particular, and he adds that Cazenove’s open architecture approach to manager selection encourages a continual review of who is best in class, by asset or region.

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Anastasia Diangelaki

RBC Wealth Management

Anastasia Diangelaki is an associate director at RBC Wealth Management, where she is responsible for fund selection. She started out working at a brokerage in Athens before moving over to the UK to study for an MSc Finance at the University of Warwick Business School in 2007.

She initially joined RBC Wealth Management as an investment analyst in the bank’s private client investment management team. Since being appointed by the firm, she has gone on to become a CFA charterholder.

Now an associate director in the company’s investment solutions team, Diangelaki has become a stalwart of the Wealth Manager Top 100 and is also an alumni of Wealth Manager Top 30 under 30, which showcases the rising stars of the private client world.

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Ahmet Feridun

Stonehage Fleming

Ahmet Feridun, Stonehage Fleming’s director of manager research oversees all aspects of manager selection and monitoring but has a particular emphasis on alternatives research, with four alternative Ucits products on his buy list.

He joined the firm in 2007, working initially as a generalist investment analyst researching a range of asset classes but predominantly equity managers. Prior to this he worked on Pictet Asset Management’s emerging market equities team. Feridun has an undergraduate degree in politics, philosophy and economics from University of Oxford and is a CFA charterholder.

As a Manchester United fan, Feridun can be confident in his team generally winning matches. In the investment world, however, he dislikes managers who appear overconfident in their ability to time markets and pick stocks. ‘Our research shows even the best active managers only get around 60% of their decisions right,’ he says.

Although happy paying 0.65% on average for active equity funds, Feridun expects rates to fall due to the proliferation of passives. The rise of these products is culminating in what Feridun terms the ‘race to zero’ where managers are feeling pressure to cut fees simply to remain competitive. ‘Having said that, we also expect those active managers that can demonstrate value for money through consistent outperformance to be more resilient in maintaining their fee level,’ he says.

Feridun oversees £350 million of Stonehage Fleming’s £9.9 billion assets under advice, 80% of which is allocated to actively managed unitised funds. The most recent addition to this buy list has been the Vulcan US Value fund, but Feridun says his hidden gem is the Polar Global Insurance fund (see graph), managed by Citywire A-rated Nick Martin.

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Jamie Fletcher

Sarasin & Partners

Responsible for the management of nine multi-asset funds of funds with a combined total of around £1.1 billion in assets under management (AUM), Sarasin & Partners analyst and portfolio manager Jamie Fletcher has spent his entire career at the company since joining in 2006. Initially working in the operations department, he became part of the project team developing Sarasin’s portfolio management system in 2010. Four years later, he joined the firm’s third party funds team and is a CFA charterholder.

When seeding funds, Fletcher looks for those with a clear pipeline of AUM growth, as well as a longer track record if the manager was previously at a different fund or if it has a US version. He adds that seeding funds ‘is an opportunity for us to negotiate favourable fees for our clients’. He highlights Citywire AA-rated Michael Clements, manager of the Oyster Continental European fund, as his hidden gem fund manager.

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Louie French

Tilney

Short-termism and a focus on cost rather than quality are two issues that Louie French, senior research analyst at Tilney, would like to see the fund industry overcome. He has some scope to influence this change in his current role, where he is Tilney’s lead fund selector for the commodities, ESG and infrastructure sectors. He also co-authors the company’s markets and macroeconomics publications.

French has a profile outside of the industry, working also as an elected London councillor. In addition to this, he is the chairman of a local authority pension fund and a committee member of the London Collective Investment Vehicle.

Fitting with his long-term focus, French notes that Tilney invests in the services of Eiris for ESG factor analysis when constructing charity or client portfolios with specific ESG requests. He also notes that ESG values are entrenched in the business and fits with the firm’s focus on finding fund managers who invest in quality companies.

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Jamie Frere-Scott

LGT Vestra

After spending a few months as Ashcourt Rowan’s head of funds, Jamie Frere-Scott joined LGT Vestra in September 2015 to run its authorised funds unit. He had previously spent several years working in the institutional market at Russell Investments and Mobius Life, where he served as head of research for nearly two years.

Frere-Scott says that broader investment decisions are made at the investment committee level for asset allocation and this year’s best call has been maintaining exposure to quality stocks despite the 2016 value-snap.

He highlights the JOHCM UK Dynamic and T Rowe Price Global Technology funds as his hidden gems.

The company manages £8.8 billion of assets, with half of the buy list in active funds and another 20% split between closed-ended funds, alternative Ucits and ETFs.

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Minesh Gajjar

Coutts

Minesh Gajjar now has 10 years of fund manager research and selection, and portfolio management experience, after spending the previous seven years in a variety of financial roles.

After graduating with a mathematics degree from London’s Queen Mary University, he began his career in technology, media and telecoms brokerage FOR Securities, providing research for institutional investors. After the dotcom crash, he moved to ABN Amro, then FTSE Group, where he helped develop index products.

Gajjar made the switch into portfolio management in 2005, joining Nedgroup Investments, running three multi-manager portfolios. He moved over to Coutts, where he was a director, in 2013, before leaving last month. His role included fund selection for private client portfolios and he was also a member of the private bank’s investment strategy team.

He highlights the active risk taken by funds in comparison to their fee, as the benchmark of whether a fund is delivering value for money.

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Shiwen Gao

Investec Wealth & Investment

A member of its investment committee, Shiwen Gao has been at Investec Wealth & Investment since May 2016. As a fund selection specialist, she focuses specifically on global, Japanese and Asian equities, as well as property. After graduating with a masters in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics, Gao joined Quilter Cheviot. There she was responsible for global equity fund research as part of Old Mutual Wealth’s multi-asset team. Within her specialist area, her hidden gem pick is the Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon fund.

Her biggest investment gripe is fund managers who are not able to communicate their personal investment philosophy, as well as sales pitches that are not targeted to the audience. She also reveals that when the team believes there is a unique opportunity, they do not shy away from seeding a fund or participating in initial public offerings.

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StJohn Gardner

Arbuthnot Latham

StJohn Gardner is head of investment management and co-chief investment officer at Arbuthnot Latham, where he also sits on the private bank’s executive committee.

Gardner joined Arbuthnot in 2005, taking on his current expanded role in 2011. During his time at the firm, he has overhauled its investment management division and established a range of new services, including the introduction of a collective investment team and a series of risk-graded funds for clients.

He started his career in 1987, initially working at Lloyd’s of London, moving between a number of its different agencies, providing fund selection services for high net worth individuals.

He went on to complete an MBA at Cranfield School of Management in 1997, before joining Finsbury Asset Manager, leaving two years later to move to Merrill Lynch Investment Managers’ managed funds team.

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Andrew Gilbert

Parmenion Capital Partners

Andrew Gilbert started his career in the industry straight after university, when he joined Rathbone Greenbank as an investment assistant. A few months later he moved to Parmenion Capital in an analyst role and it was not long before he approached his employers with an idea for an ethical proposition. Less than two years later, the firm launched its socially responsible and ethical portfolio range.

Now aged just 27, Gilbert has been an investment manager at the firm since 2014. He also chairs the ethical oversight committee and has co-management responsibilities of £2.6 billion of assets. Together with his investment team, they determine which funds they will select through monthly reviews of three investment committees: investment oversight, ethical oversight, and investment risk.

Every year since 2014, Parmenion’s ethical assets under management have doubled, rising from £21.7 million to £55.3 million in 2015, then on to £110.7 million as of August 2016.

On the whole, the firm’s buy list has nearly 250 positions, reviewed on a monthly basis using an extensive quantitative screening process, as well as ongoing manager meetings throughout the year. Some 55% of the buy list features passively-managed funds and another 38% is in active ones. Gilbert says Parmenion’s biggest fund provider is Vanguard, with Miton being the boutique it allocates most to.

He cites Liontrust Sustainable Future UK Growth, run by Peter Michaelis, as his hidden gem fund pick.

Artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming part of the firm’s investment process, Gilbert adds. ‘Our quantitative screening process helps us to focus our time on those managers who consistently add value on a risk-adjusted basis.’

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Esther Gilbert

Investec Wealth & Investment

Fixed income analyst Esther Gilbert argues that competition from passive and ETF providers, the consolidation of firms, as well as increasing economies of scale will continue to drive down annual management charges.

Currently, her firm pays 0.75% on average for active equity funds and 0.6% for active bond funds. She says that fees remain high for semi-active management, she also cites her biggest investment gripes as closet tracker funds and ‘a lack of differentiation between product providers’.

Gilbert started her career as a fixed income fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management and moved into fund of funds management in 2010. She spent three years as part of Axa Investment Managers’ external managers group, where she worked on both retail and institutional mandates. After joining Investec in July 2015, she became responsible for fixed income fund selection.

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Mick Gilligan

Killik & Co

After starting his career at John Lamb Partnership in the late 1990s, Mick Gilligan joined Killik & Co in 2001. Six years on, Gilligan became a fully-fledged partner and departmental head within the firm, which manages £5.5 billion in client assets.

Gilligan has responsibilities that reach beyond just fund buying, including input into Killik & Co’s model portfolio service and sitting on the firm’s investment committee.

Alternatives have become an increasing focus for Gilligan over the past 12 months, coinciding with him gently reducing his exposure to equity-based funds. One of the ways Gilligan is tapping into the alternatives universe is through the latest addition to his buy list, Winton Absolute Return Futures.

What Gilligan describes as the real hidden gem of his buy list is the large closed-ended investment trust, Syncona, which is dedicated to life science investments, notably companies battling cancer and genetic diseases.

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Sam Grant-Dalton

Close Brothers Asset Management

Close Brothers Asset Management’s (CBAM) Sam Grant-Dalton says he is happy to ‘pay up’ for managers who can demonstrate consistent long-term outperformance.

‘The crucial question is whether a fund manager stacks up relative to peers, benchmarks and our own expectations, net of all fees and charges,’ he says.

‘Whilst we do place a good deal of importance on costs, we are happy to “pay up” for managers who are able to demonstrate specific experience and expertise in their own geography or asset class over the long term.’

Grant-Dalton co-manages the Close Managed range of funds and is also a member of CBAM’s manager research, multi-asset class and asset allocation committees.

He joined the company in 2010, having previously worked in hedge funds in Hong Kong. A CFA charterholder, he covers the full spectrum of funds and cites Sloane Robinson Emerging Markets as his hidden gem fund pick.

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John Goodall

WH Ireland

WH Ireland’s John Goodall started his career trading futures for Spreadex before moving to Tilney’s investment management team in 2005. He spent two years at the company before being tempted over to WH Ireland, joining its private client team as head of research.

The wealth manager has a fairly compact buy list of 91 funds, of which 45 are actively managed unitised funds and 35 are investment trusts. Goodall says it has been and continues to be streamlined, but two recent additions have been the Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon and BNY Mellon US Equity Income funds.

He cites predicting that the UK will peak in mid-2017 (‘so far, so good with this one!’) and not moving out of fixed income as his best investment calls of the year. He also names the Royal London Corporate Bond fund, managed by Jonathan Platt, as his hidden gem.

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Jon Gumpel

Brooks Macdonald Asset Management

Jon Gumpel started his career in investment management in 1986, before going on to become a founding director of Brooks Macdonald, which now has over £10 billion of assets under management, in 1991.

As one of the investment directors responsible for overseeing its investment management strategy, Gumpel watches over the firm’s 300-strong buy list and runs its £400 million Defensive Capital fund with his mantra being ‘to combine outright performance with risk adjusted performance’.

Having been in the industry for over 30 years, it comes as little surprise that Gumpel’s biggest personal pet peeve is something investment related. His bugbear is the banning of sector averages as a comparator for the absolute return sector. ‘Using sector averages helps – how else are people to put a fund’s performance into context?’ he queries.

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Ben Gutteridge

Brewin Dolphin

As well as proving himself a dab hand at fund selection, Ben Gutteridge is also a radio talent, hosting the award winning Brewin Podcast. If you are lucky enough to be invited onto the show, heed this warning: Gutteridge’s pet peeve is extended or monologue style answers from the show’s guests.

Gutteridge, who became head of fund research in 2010, prepared for his investment career with a mathematics degree from Loughborough University. He has worked up to his current position since 2003, when he joined Brewin Dolphin as a fund analyst.

The most recent fund to be added to the firm’s 258-strong buy list is the Baillie Gifford American fund. He names his hidden gem fund as Gateway to India, run by Ocean Dial.

Gutteridge’s team seeds funds and he says he looks for ‘return potential, competency of manager and team, liquidity demands and appropriate charging’, which is not a major departure from his typical process.

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Bambos Hambi

Standard Life Investments

Bambos Hambi, head of fund of funds at Aberdeen Standard, is no stranger to seeding funds. When looking out for new opportunities, he follows his four Ps fund selection methodology: ‘philosophy, process, people and price.’

Hambi’s investment career has spanned 39 years. He had stints at Legal & General, Quilter, Rothschild Asset Management, Insight Investment Management and Gartmore Investment Management. Prior to joining Standard Life Investments (SLI) in March 2011, he was a multi-manager consultant and independent fund expert for three years. At SLI, which has recently merged with Aberdeen Asset Management, Hambi heads the MyFolio team which runs 25 fund of funds. He personally oversees £16 billion of assets.

And what about Hambi’s pet peeves? Looking at the industry, his biggest gripe is the continual increase in regulations, while on a personal level, trains really get his goat.

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Anna Haugaard

Brewin Dolphin

Looking back on this year, Anna Haugaard says choosing European small companies over large caps has been her best investment call. The fund analyst explains that the call was helped considerably by the strength of the euro this year. ‘Smaller companies are more domestically-oriented and therefore less impacted by a less competitive currency.’

Within Brewin Dolphin’s buy-list, the number of alternative and absolute return sector products have increased the most.

Haugaard began her fund research career at Quilter in 2009. She then joined Brewin Dolphin in 2014 where her day-to-day responsibilities involve analysing equity funds. Prior to this she was based in Australia where she worked for Deutsche Bank subsidiary, Wilson HTM Australia Broking.

Her personal pet peeve is that it is impossible to buy a ‘diet-sized’ slice of cake. She just wants a taste of it, so if you want to make Haugaard happy, invent diet cake!

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James Hawkes

Coutts

‘The large contingent of active managers that do not take enough active risk’ is James Hawkes’ pet peeve, when it comes to investment.

He started his career at a proprietary trading firm, investing in short-term interest rate and commodity futures, before making the switch into wealth management, joining Cumberland Place Financial Management as an investment analyst. Hawkes moved over to Coutts in 2015, where he is an associate director with fund research responsibilities. He also assists with fund selection for the private bank’s model portfolio service.

Despite Coutts’ chunky £17.9 billion of assets under management, Hawkes still backs a number of boutiques, with Polar Capital, Algebris and Morant Wright all having two funds apiece on the firm’s buy list.

Invesco Perpetual European Equity was the latest addition, but he cites being overweight in financial credit as his best investment call this year.

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Charles Hepworth

GAM

A degree in biotechnology might not be the standard for an investment manager, but after his studies at Leeds University, Charles Hepworth decided to manage money and started his career at SG Warburg in 1991.

Afterwards, he took on the role of deputy fund manager at Albert E Sharp, later moving over to Quilter as an assistant fund manager in 1994. He then became responsible for running the managed portfolio service as group director, prior to joining GAM in 2012.

Now an investment director in the Multi Asset Class Solutions team, Hepworth is also a member of its asset allocation committee, as well as holding a seat on the investment committee. Personally he runs £1 billion in assets.

He says there is limited client demand to apply ESG criteria and believes it is still too early to adopt automation or artificial intelligence as part of his investment process.

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Matt Hoggarth

Thesis Asset Management

Despite Brexit and the outcome of the general election creating uncertainty and tension, Thesis Asset Management’s Matt Hoggarth kept faith with UK equities this year and says it has paid off.

This is part be thanks to the firm’s in-house UK equity selection process, which the head of research says has delivered top quartile performance over the past three and five years.

As the deadline for the implementation of Mifid II approaches, Hoggarth says he is still making plans in this area. ‘Since most of our research is generated in-house, it is most likely we will be very targeted in what we buy externally,’ he says. ‘What we do buy will probably be funded from our profit and loss account.’

Hoggarth joined Thesis in 2005 after graduating with a master’s in international relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. He has led Thesis’s Chichester research team since 2011.

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Paul Hookway

Kleinwort Hambros

Paul Hookway started his career at Kleinwort Benson (now Kleinwort Hambros) as a portfolio manager. In his 13-year tenure, Hookway has managed two funds of funds, KB Enterprise Income and KB Enterprise Growth. Currently, he also runs the KB Enterprise Equity Income and a fund of UK equity funds.

Hookway is somewhat of a champion of active management, saying that the ‘endless cries’ of some fund pickers that active managers do not add value ‘is just not true.’ He adds that managers that generate alpha may be hard to find in some markets, ‘but they are there’.

One fund Hookway deems a hidden gem is Hermes’ Asia ex Japan fund, run by Citywire AAA-rated Jonathan Pines.

Although his equity buy list has remained fairly static over the past year, one fund he has added is Loomis Sayles US Growth, managed by Citywire AA-rated manager Aziz Hamzaogullari.

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James Horniman

James Hambro & Partners

James Horniman joined James Hambro & Partners from UBS Wealth Management, where he spent five years working as a portfolio manager and team leader in its UK domestic business. At the time, he was responsible for managing assets of £500 million and now, at James Hambro & Partners, he oversees £600 million.

Prior to joining UBS, Horniman spent over five years at HSBC Investment Management, where he served as a director and team leader in its UK private client business. During his time at HSBC, Horniman was also a member of its UK equity team and sat on the investment policy committee.

In his spare time and ‘as an antidote to the rigours of industry regulation,’ Horniman writes creative fiction and is currently trying to find a publisher for his first novel, which centres around the experience of a jury for a murder trial at the Old Bailey.

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Julian Howard

GAM

As head of multi-asset solutions at GAM, Julian Howard manages around $1.6 billion of investments across equities, bonds and alternatives. Aside from fund selection, he is responsible for strategic and tactical asset allocation, and sits on the investment committee.

After completing a history degree at Bristol University, he went into investment management and held a variety of roles at Henderson Global Investors, Insight Investment, Invesco Perpetual and then JP Morgan Investment Management. He joined GAM in March 2007.

On seeding funds, he says he looks for ‘manager record, strength of process, size and reputation of house’. He adds: ‘GAM has a long history of involvement in new funds at an early stage in their lifecycle.’

He makes sure to use active funds only where they can make a real difference, pointing out that his selection of active managers in Europe, emerging markets and Japan has outperformed this year.

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