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Wealth Manager: Brewins' head of fund research Ben Gutteridge on his blend of caution and growth

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by Emma Dunkley on Nov 24, 2011 at 00:01

The old adage ‘err on the side of caution’ is certainly prudent during times of economic and financial uncertainty, with the European sovereign debt crisis ongoing in the background and global equity markets still volatile.

A bias towards conservatism when selecting potential investment strategies is wise at the best of times, and even more so in this turbulent context.

This view of leaning towards the safer end of the investment scale is one used by Brewin Dolphin’s award winning research team, but as head of fund research Ben Gutteridge explains, this is blended with carefully selected growth opportunities.

‘We have a bias towards being conservative, but we have higher beta strategies and growth funds on the list,’ says Gutteridge.

Funds with a more defensive stance find favour on Gutteridge’s investment ideas list, including Neil Woodford’s Invesco Perpetual High Income fund and Angus Tulloch’s First State Asia Pacific fund . ‘Despite our preferences, strategies go in and out of favour.’

Gutteridge, who works with a team of experienced research professionals, has seen this change in strategic preferences evolve since he started at the firm in 2003. After studying maths at university, his first foray into the world of finance was at Barclays Global Investors on the sell-side, after which he decided to move to the buy-side.

‘I left for Brewin Dolphin, where I’ve been ever since, for eight years,’ says Gutteridge. Brewin Dolphin is one of the largest independent private client investment managers in the UK, managing around £25 billion on behalf of private clients, charities and pension funds from its 41 regional offices.

The firm provides a full investment management and financial planning service for private investors, charities and pension funds, and also has a corporate advisory as well as broking divisions.

Starting as a junior fund analyst at the firm, he has since worked his way up to look at not only the full universe of active fund managers, but also analyse the alternative space and rise of investment vehicles that have emerged more recently, such as exchange traded funds (ETFs).

‘In our research role, we serve our investment managers by providing a list of ideas accompanied by highly detailed levels of research, in order to help them build bespoke portfolios, tailored for their clients.’

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