Our portfolio management service is a key component of the Harpsden proposition. We believe our ability to combine boutique levels of personal service alongside institutional portfolio management capability is a significant point of differentiation and a crucial factor in our success to date.
Philosophy and experience
Our investment philosophy results in a research-led, valuation and risk aware investment approach. We believe in genuinely active portfolio management.
Our experience tells us there is no substitute for ‘wearing down the shoe leather’ and therefore we are active in our engagement with company management teams, fund managers and industry analysts, in order to gain insight into both the prevailing and future economic and investment landscapes.
The fact that we are risk averse means that we will always be diversified across both asset class and geography. However, unlike many of our competitors, we will not be invested in all asset classes or geographies at all times. We will deliberately eschew assets where we think the chance of a significant or permanent loss of capital is too high, even if this involves, for a period of time, foregoing some incremental performance.
Our investment team is led by our Chief Investment Officer and co-founder Ian Brady who has over 25 years experience of institutional fund management with renowned asset management companies such as Invesco Perpetual, Legal & General and Schroders.
Our Investment Committee meets bi-monthly and benefits from the contribution of two external consultants Ian Cooke and Steve Renton. The role of the committee is to provide rigorous oversight and external input into the decision making process of the Chief Investment Officer and the Investment Team. Our financial planners also attend the Investment Committee meetings, so that they can provide clients with a valuable insight into the decision making process and also provide the committee with important client feedback.
We offer multi asset class, multi manager and multi currency portfolios, created from the whole of the market. Our client portfolios are typically structured across a range of tax wrappers (such as Individual Savings Accounts, Self Invested Personal Pensions, Offshore bonds and Offshore custody accounts).
We combine top-down macroeconomic analysis – to evaluate across a wide range of asset classes – and rigorous bottom-up micro analysis to establish the most appropriate blend of investment vehicles within our preferred asset classes.
Collective investments (including Investment Trusts and Exchange Traded Funds) are our preferred vehicles as they offer better diversification than direct investment in equities and fixed interest securities. However we do analyse down to stock level on a ‘test of reasonableness’ and use third party research to quantify and evaluate our exposure to geographies, sectors and individual stocks. This enables us to understand and monitor risk on an ongoing basis and ensure our risk level is within the parameters we have set and agreed with each client.
We back test our portfolio strategies for ten years using qualitative and quantitative data in order to determine what the maximum loss would have been on the portfolios as currently constituted.
Understanding our clients’ risk profile, tolerance to loss, knowledge and experience and capacity for loss is fundamentally important in ensuring that we are able to create and build a portfolio that is appropriate for each client.
Our clients can view their portfolios online. We provide regular valuations benchmarking our performance against both the Retail Price Index and the appropriate FTSE Wealth Managers Association Stock Market portfolio.
In response to demand from our clients, in June 2011 we launched an ethical strategy portfolio. This strategy only invests in funds that follow an ethical or socially responsible mandate.
We believe that the process by which investors engage with management and encourage corporate behaviour that is ethical and socially responsible and sustaining has significant long-term merit.
We accept that there is a significant degree of subjectivity with regard to what each individual investor considers ethical. The screening process employed by each fund manager also varies considerably. Investors should understand that our ethical strategy portfolio is primarily concerned with promoting a broad range of improved social outcomes. Therefore we include funds that apply negative screening (for example, no tobacco and gambling) and those which apply positive screening (for example protection of material environment, sustainable and socially responsible practices).
As with all portfolio strategies at Harpsden, we source from the whole of market and are multi asset and multi manager.
It is important for investors to be aware that because of the restrictions inherent in many ethical funds, this portfolio strategy may display more short-term volatility than unencumbered funds with a similar equity content. This is because tobacco and drug companies and armament suppliers (which many ethical funds wont buy) often exhibit lower short-term volatility than the overall equity market.
We are committed to ensuring our clients feel fully informed and our investment team regularly publishes analysis and opinion on global macroeconomics, markets, asset classes and asset allocation. To receive our commentary, please register here.Read More
Our financial planning team periodically issues briefings that we feel would be of interest to our clients on a wide range of financial planning issues. To receive our briefings, please register here.Read More
“Jeremy is always easy to contact and is happy to meet as frequently as I feel is necessary. He is measured and empathetic to my situation. He always deals with ad hoc requests swiftly and he has provided advice over and above that which I am paying for.”
“Roland prepares well for our review meetings and always allows plenty of time for a full discussion of our affairs and explanations of relevant new developments/legislation. He always deals with our affairs and any queries that may arise during the year promptly and efficiently. We are very pleased with all aspects of the service we receive.”
“Harpsden provided us with excellent, complete and impartial advice. Jeremy Arthur’s understanding of matters peripheral to investments was very good and his knowledge enabled us to question and clarify other advice being provided by other advisers. We have complete trust in them which we have not always felt with other financial advisers.”
“Jeremy has been an exemplary advisor, offering me excellent professional advice, showing absolute professional discretion and where appropriate connected me to useful contacts. It has to date been a pleasure working with Jeremy.”
“Jeremy has been very professional from day one and has always taken the utmost care in finding out what I needed and how to best provide that for me. It does not end there, we meet on a regular basis to discuss where I am and any changes in my short or long term plans. I would wholeheartedly recommend Jeremy without any hesitation what so ever.”
“I completely trust Roland. He’s clear in assessing the level of risk I want to adopt, in advising on my current position and the options available, and in explaining his reasons for his advice on the best way forward. I have been using him for many years, and trust him so much that he is now also advising my wife, my 2 children, my mother and also acted (until her death) for my aunt!”
Finalist: Financial Advisor Team of the Year 2018/19
Winner: Adviser firm of the year (UK)
Winner: Adviser firm of the year (South East)
Top 100 Financial Planning Firms 2018
awarded by The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
Highly commended: Best Investment Adviser