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Intermediaries opt for centralised investment processes to accommodate diverse client risk appetites

•    82% of intermediaries have a centralised investment process
•    76% use model portfolios

 

A survey from Equifax Touchstone, a market leading intermediary database provider, shows that 82% of intermediaries have a centralised investment process and 76% use model portfolios, illustrating the enhanced focus on delivering consistent investment outcomes to end investors. Where intermediaries use model portfolios, 70% do so for more than 50% of their investment business.

 

The findings show that although the adoption of centralised investment processes and model portfolios is now common practice, implementation varies with the size of the firm. Only 66% of advisers in a firm with less than five advisers use model portfolios in contrast to 83% from firms with over 50 advisers.

 
While some investors are increasingly turning to passive investments to reduce costs, the survey shows that advisers still very much value active investment vehicles.  Passive investing plays a part for 82% of intermediaries, but the majority invest 25% or less of their investment business in passives.  Only 11% of advisers allocate more than 50% to passive funds. 


John Driscoll, Director at Equifax Touchstone, said: “Centralised processes and the use of model portfolios ensure that a client’s attitude to risk is reflected and maintained on an ongoing basis, as these portfolios are managed according to strict risk criteria, and re-balanced regularly.  


“We’re witnessing a shift to a more structured investment process, with centralised processes a key foundation for investment advice. This approach helps strike the right balance between risk and return, particularly important in a world of increased market volatility. 


“The FCA is very focused on the quality of advice that investors receive, and stamping out unsuitable advice is a priority. Being able to demonstrate that investment risk is managed, monitored and maintained to the appropriate level for the client is an important part of this. With the rebalancing and documented investment process at the heart of investment advice, investors can access a more consistent approach to investment.”


Equifax Touchstone utilises intermediary and customer profiling tools to provide financial services providers with a detailed understanding of their marketplace and client base. 


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Total sample size was 141 investment advisers.  The survey was carried out online in August 2017. 

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