Investment Team


Chris Metcalfe,
Investment Director

Chris Rush,
Investment Manager/
Senior Fund Analyst

Michael Heapy,
Investment Analyst

Rebecca Anscombe,
Head of Systems

Jack Roberts,
Investment Team Support

Investment Philosophy

Our success has come from a dynamic and pragmatic approach to investing. We believe that different styles of management, tools and research, work in different parts of the investment cycle and we therefore maintain a flexible investment process.

Approach

Whichever investment solution is chosen from our range, you can be assured that the same philosophy is found running throughout. They are also managed by the same experienced and trusted Investment Team, who are the hallmark of all IBOSS investment solutions.

  • Completely independent fund selection
  • A commitment to holding no more than 4% in any single fund (core range only/ex. deposit funds)
  • A fixed strategic asset allocation with tactical overlay
  • Robust quantitative & qualitative process
  • An emphasis on consistency of returns relative to benchmark
  • A desire to avoid restrictions, which may hamper investment performance

Aim

Our aim is to beat the relevant benchmark over as many periods as possible, with less than benchmark volatility and lower drawdowns, across all risk ratings.

Proposition

Our proposition seeks to collate market information from a wide range of available sources; including fund manager meetings, investment conferences, financial media and third party analysts. No individual input source is allowed to dominate and each asset class brings its own issues, opportunities and risks . We assess the information gathered and apply it to our portfolios or funds using the framework principles of modern portfolio theory.

Beliefs

We believe that markets are only generally efficient in the long term. Therefore, active managers may only be able to exploit inefficiencies over a long period. Concentrated funds can suffer long periods of underperformance; to be included, the long term expected return must be significantly higher, for the risk taken, than with a more diversified fund.

Diversification

We also believe that diversification is key to achieving long term investment goals. Unfortunately, true diversification has become hard to come by even within the multi-asset space. Investors are also naturally prone to behavioural biases and can often gravitate towards areas of the market which were, with hindsight, poor investments. Examples of this type of herding and concentration risk include technology companies in the lead up to the 2000 market crash, the credit crunch in 2008 and, most recently, the heavy losses suffered by dividend-paying global equities in early 2020. We work hard to ensure that each of our investment solutions are well diversified in order to provide a degree of protection against these periodically natural market falls.

5

Highly qualified and experienced Investment Team members

6,000+

Hours of fund research is conducted each year

300+

Fund house meetings are attended throughout the year

£1.3BN

Total FUI across our investment solutions

Asset allocation

The core asset allocation remains relatively fixed on an ongoing basis but with a limited tactical overlay.

The allocation was reached using a consensus based on historical asset allocation and correlation of the various assets, and based on clearly demonstrable economic principles.

We believe diversification using several funds within an asset class, that meet our investment criteria, can give added value in the form of reduced volatility, without reducing performance.

To this end, we would expect ordinarily to hold approximately 35-40 funds in any one of our actively managed portfolios or funds.

Fund selection

We select funds from the whole of market and with no restrictions placed on us by third parties.

This allows us for free thought on market and economic trends, and means we are not influenced by any ‘house’ view other than our own.

This results in our Investment Team being able to select funds as they see fit, purely for the benefit of your clients’ investments.

Funds are considered, in their own right, looking at;

  • Performance – cumulative, discrete and relative to peer group
  • Fund manager tenure (including support team) and their track record
  • Fund size and inflows
  • Ratios – Tracking Error, Sharpe, Information Ratio, Volatility, Alpha, Beta and Max Drawdown
  • Geographical Allocation
  • Sector Allocation
  • Charges

Charges are considered a differentiator though and are rarely the primary driver of a fund decision. Generally, we would not invest in single country funds, except for the UK and the US.

Manager selection & research

Whilst based in the north of England, our dedicated research is still very extensive, daily direct trains between Harrogate and London or online conference calls make the city easily accessible.

We will always endeavour to meet the fund manager of a newly considered fund, but this can sometimes be the last step of the process, after quantitative research has been conducted.

We look to gather detailed information on fund managers to gain a good understanding of their capabilities, focusing on their potential for consistent returns and stability, along with further information, including;

  • Manager Tenure (including supporting team)
  • Manager Performance relative to peer group
  • Previously & currently other managed funds by the same team (including segregated mandates)
  • Manager performance in down markets

Portfolio construction

Within our model portfolios for MPS and PMS, we use no form of any volatility parameters, we believe these can push managers into making counter-intuitive decisions, especially in times of market stress.