Square Mile Investment Consulting & Research (Square Mile), the investment consulting company, today launches the Square Mile Academy of Funds, a showcase of all funds which the consultancy is prepared to recommend to clients. Housed within a dedicated section on the Square Mile website* and free for all advisers to access, recommended funds will carry a rating – A, AA, or AAA – as a mark of quality and a reflection of the level of conviction Square Mile has in a fund’s ability to deliver on expectations.
A detailed factsheet accompanies each fund recommendation providing: an overview of its key features; an in-depth fund description with a summary of Square Mile’s qualitative research; a breakdown of quantitative data and performance; and an overview of the fund’s risk profile. To address the requirements of an evolving regulatory environment, Square Mile pays particular attention to investment outcomes, ensuring that a vehicle meets specific client requirements: capital accumulation; capital preservation; inflation protection and income.
As well as the recommended list, the Academy of Funds contains a section devoted to risk-targeted fund ranges, categorising them into meaningful peer groups and assessing their ability to add value while remaining within their stated risk parameters. Recommended risk-targeted fund ranges will carry an “R” rating. In addition, the Academy’s “Positive Prospects” list pinpoints funds that have real potential to deliver but where the manager, strategy or process might be new and therefore as yet unproven in all market conditions.
Funds within the Academy of Funds are selected based on the collective expertise of the eight-strong research team, referencing market intelligence, industry contacts and in-depth sector and fund analysis. This highly qualitative research process assesses those responsible for managing funds, the investment process and philosophy underlying the strategy, portfolio construction and risk management. In particular, the research places an emphasis on marrying a fund’s objectives and the outcomes that investors should expect. It also takes into consideration more practical considerations such as cost, transparency and access.
All funds listed will be reviewed on a quarterly basis to ensure that the stated process remains unchanged, to assess performance and to determine the drivers of returns.
Beyond offering the Academy of Funds, Square Mile works in partnership with investment platforms, life companies, financial advisers and wealth managers to design, build, support and manage their investment propositions in a way tailored to meet their needs. These services include:
• The compilation and regular review of fund lists to meet criteria as determined by clients (guided architecture /fund panels);
• The creation of model portfolios to meet differing investment requirements;
• Sub-advisory services for authorised investment managers such as life companies and investment platforms;
• Discretionary investment portfolio services for authorised advisory companies.
In 2013, Square Mile was appointed by Zurich UK Life to provide investment consulting and guided architecture to support the development, launch and on-going management of a new proposition for its intermediary platform.
Richard Romer-Lee, Managing Director, Square Mile, said, “In launching the Square Mile Academy of Funds we have set out to create a truly differentiated proposition where all advisers can benefit from the recommendations we make to our clients. An academy is an institute where membership recognises master-status within a specific discipline as well as a seat of advanced learning. The Square Mile Academy of Funds aspires to reflect both these meanings. Clients and advisers alike will benefit from the research and insight which underlies the recommended funds listed whilst the funds in the Square Mile Academy of Funds represent the highest investment talent in the UK retail investment industry.”
Mark Peters, Head of Retail Wealth Propositions at Zurich said, “The launch of the Square Mile Academy of Funds website is great news and as a strategic partner of Square Mile, we wanted to be the first platform to carry the new ratings and factsheets. The new website fully complements the Zurich Collection, a range of funds chosen by Square Mile that focus on key customer investment outcomes.”
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Notes to editors
* The Square Mile Academy of Funds can be accessed here: www.squaremileresearch.com/academyoffunds
Launched in September 2013, Square Mile is an independent investment research business focusing first and foremost on in depth, qualitative fund research, providing tailored support and investment services for financial advisers and institutions.
Based in the City of London, the company employs eight full time investment research professionals.