The experience for Millhaven Financial Services.
Growing interest in managed accounts has stemmed from the wide range of solutions now available and the potential to offer clients greater flexibility, transparency and clarity in their investments1.
James Williamson, Managing Director of Millhaven Financial Services, was an early-adopter, using the initially available individually managed accounts (IMA) with clients who needed more tailored, niche solutions but has since found the portfolios now available in a changing marketplace able to suit a wider range of his clients.
Mr Williamson has found managed accounts offer strengths to his business through adding efficiency to client interactions and offering a strong risk and compliance framework through the technology they use.
“Managed accounts can free up time for conversations with clients but a targeted communications program is key. It needs to be regular and cover portfolios and market activity to reduce concerns so that you can focus on goals and strategy at review time rather than the minutiae of the portfolio,” says Mr Williamson.
In addition, the introduction of managed accounts in his practice allowed more uniform training for the advisers in his business, which in turn meant that clients received cohesive and clear messages regardless of whom they spoke to at Millhaven Financial Services.
For Millhaven Financial Services, successfully incorporating managed accounts hinges on defining a clear investment philosophy.
“Start with the why and what of your investment philosophy then you can work out what structures are right for that philosophy. From there, find a provider who can help you with solutions across your client base,” says Mr Williamson.
While many clients at Millhaven Financial Services use managed accounts, the practice has been careful to pair clients with the best match for their individual goals and overall strategy.
“Suitability [of managed accounts] depends on the costs and whether it can compete with the other options which might also be available to the client. The decision to move a client to a managed account solution is one that would come out of the review process, not beforehand, so it can take time, but that is what is right for the client” says Mr Williamson.
The managed account environment continues to change, driven by client needs and advances in technology. For Millhaven Financial Services, it has been part of their overall business strategy to offer tailored sophisticated advice to their client base and the business has considered and used newer forms of managed accounts where appropriate for their clients. For other practices, it might be about incorporating a specific risk and compliance approach or perhaps part of meeting client demands for transparent solutions.
1. Investment Trends and BT Panorama, Managed Accounts Research Paper, July 2017
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