Established in 1881 as a partnership, Smith & Williamson is an independently owned financial and professional services group. The firm is a leading provider of investment management, as well as being the UK’s 8th largest accountancy firm. With over £20bn of assets under management, Smith & Williamson has offices across the UK, Ireland and Jersey.
Smith & Williamson started using FE fundinfo's MPS Directory & MPS Data Dissemination in October 2017 and, while the relationship remains young, clients are already starting to see the benefits of this service.
We spoke to Mickey Morrissey, who is head of distribution at Smith & Williamson and is responsible for growing intermediated sales in the Discretionary Fund Manager (DFM) and Managed Portfolio Service(MPS) business lines, about how MPS Directory & MPS Data Dissemination adds value to the business.
A lack of transparency in the world of discretionary fund management has been one of the biggest challenges faced by the industry. Until FE fundinfo's MPS Directory & MPS Data Dissemination service came about, Mickey points out that there was no way for advisers to access underlying portfolio data and research model portfolios. “There was no way to compare apples with apples. But with MPS Directory & MPS Data Dissemination, it became possible for advisers to compare different model portfolios, access holdings data, track the performance and thus, run a thorough analysis of the DFMs they are invested in.”
Why FE fundinfo
The decision to go with FE fundinfo was very demand driven. Mickey explains, “A lot of advisers already using FE Analytics and accessing other model portfolios via the MPS Directory & MPS Data Dissemination service kept coming to us, asking us to put our models onto the platform. This is how the conversation with FE fundinfo started.”
The other reason for choosing MPS Directory & MPS Data Dissemination was primarily the lack of transparency in the market. With the introduction of a platform such as MPS Directory & MPS Data Dissemination, advisers and investors were able to make decisions based on accurate information. Since Smith & Williamson, as a firm, wanted more transparency in the MPS market, choosing FE fund info's service was only logical.
Smith & Williamson was looking for ways to promote the stellar performance of its models. “Since the launch of our models six years ago, our funds have performed very well – top quartile mostly, and we were struggling to find ways of letting people know that. We wanted to demonstrate the great performance of our funds and MPS Directory & MPS Data Dissemination has let us do just that.”
The service allows DFMs and model portfolio providers to distribute their model portfolio data, literature and factsheets to advisers.
“FE fundinfo's service has helped us generate new leads and business opportunities. We now have intermediaries contacting us directly for access to our models. A lot of them are completely new to us i.e. people or groups we have not heard of.”
“Being on a platform that allows advisers to compare our models and see how well our funds have performed relative to others, has driven up the demand for our models. Both MPS Directory & MPS Data Dissemination and FE Analytics are great products and advisers have really embraced them to enhance and build their investment propositions.”