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Wealth Manager: Dan Kemp of Saltus Partners on evolving in volatile markets

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by James Phillipps on Mar 05, 2010 at 08:30

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, which was certainly the case with Saltus Partners. Jon Macintosh and Simon Armstrong founded the wealth management firm in 2004 because they could not access the sophisticated investments that they worked with on a daily basis.

Dan Kemp joined as the third partner in 2008 and the multi-asset absolute return boutique has since branched out into the retail market with the launch of the Saltus Multi-Asset Class fund, known internally as the ‘33’ portfolio, last May. A second launch is being lined up for later this year.

Saltus runs three in-house funds, derived from its core multi-asset strategy. The ‘33’ portfolio is designed to deliver cash plus returns with one third of the volatility of the stock market, while its ‘50’ and ‘67’ sister funds are managed with a higher risk budget.

The latter is the latest being rolled out and investors will effectively be able to create the ‘50’ fund by blending the two funds themselves.

Kemp says that although their risk profiles are quoted against the volatility of the stock market, the funds are unconstrained and not run against any benchmark. ‘We will happily lag the equity index if we have the right level of risk and are making good money for our clients,’ he says.

Kemp’s passion for investment is both evident and infectious. He sheepishly admits to having wanted to pursue a career in fund management since he was a young boy but concedes that he could have taken an easier route to get there.

After two years spent studying economics at A level, he changed tack, completing a degree in theology at King’s College London8. ‘Perhaps where I was a little naïve was in not realising that the big investment houses and fund management groups are not exactly falling over each other to hire a theology graduate,’ he says.

The pensions industry was a little more welcoming to budding theologians so Kemp started out as an administrator. He spent several years as a financial adviser and was latterly head of fund research at Williams de Broë.

His transition to the world of multi-asset investing was seamless and aided by his colleagues’ vast experience of running alternatives.

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