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Wealth Manager: what it takes to get on Kleinwort Benson's buylist

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by Elsa Buchanan on Nov 14, 2013 at 09:37

Delyth Richards, Kleinwort Benson’s head of fund research, has now been controlling the private bank’s internal prescriptive buylist with an iron fist for more than three years.

Under her supervision is a high conviction core list of 70 funds, and a broad platform of recommendations for 100 open-ended funds,
31 investment trusts and 65 exchange traded funds (ETFs) and exchange traded commodities (ETCs).

‘We have a reasonably broad proposition but it is appropriate for the different types of clients we have. The size is manageable and scalable, and I wouldn’t want it to be bigger,’ she says.

‘I am unashamedly the gatekeeper of that list,’ she adds. ‘My role is to go and find solutions to fit the investment themes, and choose the best in class funds.’

While Richards, who was one of Wealth Manager’s UK Top 100 most powerful figures in private client investment and fund selection teams, insists colleagues in other parts of the business bring funds to her attention, she says they have to go through the due process consideration first.

The ‘genesis’ of the separation between the research and portfolio management sides of the business is a reduction of return disparity, she explains.

‘If you had an open house where everyone was able to make their own selections, you would introduce so much more variance of return, which wouldn’t be fair to clients,’ Richards says. 

‘We have the oversight of it so from a risk control point of view we are always analysing those tail and liquidity risks.

 

‘By centralising it, it means we can be very much on top of them.’

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