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Profile: how to compete when every man and his dog runs multi-asset
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by Elsa Buchanan on Jan 31, 2014 at 07:00
With more and more wealth managers launching managed portfolio services, standing out from the crowd is becoming more important than ever.
For Cornelian Asset Managers, this meant hiring David Appleton as its investment director last June to build up its suite of products and spread the word in the regions.
‘Every man and his dog is launching a multi asset fund,’ says Appleton. ‘But we have demonstrated an ability to deliver where others are a bit greyer.’
The Edinburgh-based boutique, which was predominantly a private client manager, made its first major marketing drive into the adviser market in May 2010 with the launch of its risk managed range. This includes five risk-managed funds covering the broad risk spectrum, which are built on its existing funds of funds.
‘We are one of the few firms that now have a demonstrable track record – we like to remind people that two of our multi-asset range funds were launched in 2005,’ Appleton says. ‘That is a source of differentiation, and it’s good to hear peers are keeping an eye on our funds.’
Over the last 12 months, funds under management in the firm’s multi-asset range grew 39% from £171 million to £238.5 million. By December, they were supported on a regular basis by more than 50 firms of advisers, Appleton says.
His investment philosophy is shared with Cornelian’s investment team. This is headed by chief investment officer and former Wealth Manager cover star Hector Kilpatrick and includes collectives expert Bill Bulloch and investment analyst trainee Richard Stark.
‘When we first met, [Hector and I] recognised similar traits in each other,’ Appleton recalls. ‘We sparked ideas off each other and we have the same intellectual curiosity. We both want to be different from the crowd.’
In the team’s view, derisking is a central pillar of the investment philosophy, and a source of diversification.
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