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Sturgeon Ventures launches Non-Profit Portfolio Service for Charities Overlooked by Asset Managers

Friday, August 30, 2013
Opalesque Industry Update, for New Managers - Opalesque Industry Update - Short-termist investors who are negative on the bond market will miss great opportunities, according to Sturgeon Ventures, the regulatory incubator, which has launched a non-profit fixed income portfolio management service for charities that they believe are overlooked by large fund managers because they have less than £20m to invest.

It is Sturgeon’s view that policymakers will refrain from raising interest rates for some years to avoid killing off economic recovery while older investors and institutions seeking income will support the bond market in the long term.

Bob Devine, who is Portfolio Manager of the new service and who has more than 40 years’ investment experience, commented: “Research indicates there is a lot of spare capacity in the economy and GDP growth could continue to rise significantly before capacity constraints appear and rates have to rise to cap inflationary pressures. One MPC member was recently quoted in the FT commenting that the Bank of England could do more bond purchases if they felt the economy was still too sluggish.

“In the longer term, there will always be investors providing support to the bond market. For example, Life companies need to offset liabilities with long duration gilts, corporate treasuries look to enhance income on reserves on a one-year view and there are charities that require cash management at the short end of the curve. The population is getting older too and senior citizens look to bonds to provide steady income in retirement.

“Sturgeon believes that some market players have acted irresponsibly by pushing yields and creating volatility. Mark Carney’s policy of forward guidance was a genuine attempt to give industry and long-term investors the confidence to invest for longer term economic growth and jobs. The actions of short-term speculators has been unhelpful and ultimately, self-defeating too.”

Sturgeon Ventures’ new Treasury & Fixed Income Portfolio Management Service for Charities will use a transparent and ethical investment process to offer customised fixed income solutions and manage funds on both a discretionary and advisory basis. Solutions will be tailored to meet client-specific objectives and to deliver real income above inflation, using a combination of short duration UK and international bonds, hedged for currency risk. The minimum investment is just £250,000, making it available for a wide range of small to mid-sized charities as well as inter-faith, school and college foundations.

Seonaid Mackenzie, Managing Partner at Sturgeon, commented: “Many large investment management firms either do not focus on charities or show no interest in the sub-£20m arena. We are offering a not-for-profit service to such charities, which need guidance on how to preserve their capital and generate income, especially in the volatile markets we have seen in recent years, but they are usually overlooked by investment management firms for being too small.”

The Service will be offered directly to charities and via financial intermediaries such as IFAs, accountants and solicitors.

There is no initial charge for the Service. There is an annual management fee ranging from 0.75% on the first £1 million invested; 0.60% on the next £4 million; 0.45% on the next £5 million and 0.25% on the next £10 million. This fee covers wage and administration costs only.

Sturgeon will not receive initial commission from any third party fund managers, opting instead for monies to be reinvested on clients’ behalf. An introductory fee is negotiable with intermediaries. A fee of 0.15% per annum is charged to cover custody/settlement and dealing costs.

The custodian for client assets is the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Channel Islands; Kleinwort Benson Bank Guernsey; and KAS Bank UK.

Sturgeon Ventures is the largest and longest-established wholesale regulatory incubator, which is also known as an ‘FCA umbrella’ or ‘regulatory hosting platform’. PD

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