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Adam & Co's new DFM service brings 'additional benefits' for independent advisers with wealthy clients, the bank tells thewealthnet
07/06/2018 , Tristan Blythe, Editorial Director

Adam & Co has launched a new discretionary fund management service designed for independent financial advisers with wealthy or very wealthy clients.

Anna Miller, investment director, told thewealthnet that the additional benefits that Adam & Co can bring to advisers through its private banking services are an additional attraction for advisers with the right kind of client.

“The range of our banking services, from the Adam Black card with its concierge services to offset multi-currency mortgages, is likely to be of interest to some of the advisers’ clients.”

The new service offers three portfolios - balanced, capital and income, and growth. These are actively managed discretionary portfolios and will use the investment management expertise and knowledge already used by Adam & Co for its own investment management clients.

Ms Miller believes the investment performance that Adam & Co can demonstrate for its own clients will be an attraction. “We are top quartile over the past three, five and ten years,” she said. “Whilst there is never any guarantee of future performance, the consistency of our returns is something that advisers should be interested by.”

As well being directly available from the firm, it is also available on the SuggestUs platform run by Guernsey-based Asset Risk Consultants (ARC). Ms Miller said that this had been a natural place to start as the firm also uses ARC’s performance monitoring services.

However, she fully expects the number of platforms that the service is on to increase. With the wide range of platforms available the question is which ones to choose?

“We will be led by the advisers on this,” Ms Miller said. “We speak to them about which platforms they use and which they think our service is best suited to. That is what we will base our decision on.”

The choice of platform is particularly important, she added, as the service is aimed at the same kind of client as Adam & Co’s traditional client base – namely wealthy and very wealthy individuals. It is not an attempt to produce a service for the mass market.

Private banking and investment management are two of the three services that the firm offers its clients though. It also offers its direct clients financial planning services. Ms Miller said this “naturally” will lead to concerns with some advisers that Adam & Co will attempt to ‘steal’ the client from the adviser. However, she adds, that this will not be the case. 

She says that time will ease these concerns as it becomes apparent through experience that this is not the strategy. In addition, the financial planning service that it does offer is not the same as the financial adviser market does. “We offer a small range of highly bespoke financial planning solutions to our clients,” Ms Miller said. “Financial advisers are able to access a much wider range of solutions for clients.

Whilst expecting the service to grow, Ms Miller accepts that it will take some time to do so. She said that advisers already use a variety of discretionary fund managers and many are “very happy” with their current provider.

By spreading the word about the service and its benefits she is confident that advisers will start to engage, and she said some already are doing so.

At the moment, Ms Miller does not expect the team behind the service to expand but said that if the number of clients grow then it inevitably will have.

She added that being part of the wider RBS group, which also includes Coutts, has been an advantage as it has been to leverage some of its capabilities in areas such as the back office and risk.

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