Fund Management

UK Private Bank Overhauls Funds Offering

Wendy Spires, Assistant Editor, 17 July 2009


UK private bank Brown Shipley has announced an overhaul of its funds offering, including the rebranding of its collective funds and the merger of its UK Special Situations fund.

In the first of the announced changes, Brown Shipley said it is to apply its own branding to its collective funds (OEIC), which are currently marketed under the Solus brand. This change, which will be brought before shareholders for approval on 12 August, is scheduled to come into effect on 15 August.

“The rebranding of the funds is part of a major underlying strategy for one brand which is easily recognisable, easier to market, provides synergy right across Brown Shipley’s business activities, and avoids any possible confusion in the market going forward,” said Peter Collier, Brown Shipley and Solus’ marketing director.

Secondly, the bank is changing the mandate of its £18 million (around $30 million) MultiManager Balanced fund to make it an income fund – a move which Brown Shipley said is a direct response to “clients’ needs for income first and other mandates second”. The fund will be run through an actively managed portfolio predominantly derived from OEICs, exchange traded funds and other collective investment vehicles.

It is intended that the funds will also invest in a range of differing asset classes encompassing markets around the world and plans to widen the number of asset classes available to the fund managers have also been embarked upon, the bank said in a statement. Brown Shipley’s investment team will be able to use money market instruments, cash and near cash, deposits and derivatives, although the bank will only use derivatives to help manage its funds more effectively and does not intend to use them for investment purposes.

Peter Botham, Brown Shipley’s chief investment officer will be the lead fund manager of the new MultiManager Income fund; he will be supported by Michael Clarkson, who manages Brown Shipley’s MultiManager Growth and MultiManager International funds.

The third major change taking place is the absorption of Brown Shipley’s £9 million Special Situations fund into its £26 million UK Flagship fund, which is managed by John Smith. Following the merger, Paul Harwood, current manager of the UK Special Situations fund, will continue to work with Brown Shipley as a contributor to its investment policy committee.

The investment objective of the newly merged fund will be to provide investors with a combination of income and capital growth via a portfolio of securities of primarily UK companies, although those of other companies listed in the UK may also be invested in as well.

“The changes we are proposing to introduce will benefit investors as they will have a more clearly defined choice with each fund having a very focused objective,” said Mr Botham.

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