Latest News

Finance Controller Appointment at Enhance Group

Enhance Group Limited (Enhance) are delighted to welcome Fergus Gibson as Financial Controller.

Fergus, who will take responsibility for all aspects of the Group’s finances, joins Enhance from a global intermodal container leasing and finance company where he was the Finance Director.
Fergus started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He worked in the financial services environment for more than 15 years spanning a range of sectors: Audit & Business Advisory Services, Banking, Container Leasing and Asset Management. Prior to that, he worked for BlackRock in London as a Business Partner supporting the firm’s Global Retail Business with their expanding onshore and cross-border Retail fund ranges. Fergus is a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant.

Tom Wiseman, Group CEO, commented:

“I am delighted to welcome Fergus to the company. His experience is of great value to our organisation and he joins our team of talented people who will lead the company forward”.

New Head of Investment Consultancy at Enhance Group

Enhance Group Limited have appointed Dr Ruzhen Li as Head of their Investment Consultancy offering.

Dr Li, who is based in London and previously held the position of Head of Research has been with the company for 3 years.

Before joining Enhance, Ruzhen was one of the founding members of investment advisory firm LJ Athene Advisory Ltd, a company that was established after a Management Buyout of Deloitte Private Client Services Limited, where she started her career, completed her CFP and then became a CFA Charter Holder.

Ruzhen completed two first class engineering degrees simultaneously in Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China and was subsequently invited to pursue a PhD in Computer Modelling in Biochemistry with Queen Mary University of London on scholarship from the Government (ORS) and the University itself.

In her position as Head of Investment Consultancy at Enhance, Ruzhen will continue to actively advise on international families who require tailored outsourced investment solutions.

Enhance Investment Consultancy (EIC) is a truly independent consultancy business, servicing global families who wish to have a team of highly qualified investment professionals on side as trusted advisors to source the best solution providers for their needs. EIC works closely with fellow professional advisors such as lawyers, accountants, trustees and tax advisors to make sure the investment solutions are consistent with other needs of the family.

Dr Ruzhen Li, commented,

 

“I am delighted to be taking on the position of Head of Investment Consultancy. I am very grateful that I have been given the freedom to build the consultancy business based on independence, research and service, supported by a very comprehensive reporting platform which the firm has built over the past decade. We’ve seen a great demand for our services both in London and abroad and I am very much looking forward to keeping the momentum and growing our client base”.

Tom Wiseman CEO of Enhance Group, commented:

“Ruzhen is a massive asset to our team and we are thrilled that she has taken on this new role. Having someone of Ruzhen’s calibre, with her extensive industry experience, qualifications and connections heading up our Investment Consultancy offering in London I am confident we will continue to develop our bespoke services whilst ensuring the absolute highest level of consultancy services”.

 

Enhance Group Announce New Chief Operating Officer

Enhance Group Limited (Enhance) are delighted to announce that Justin Simpson has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer.

In his new role, Justin is responsible for the on-going operations of Enhance Group, overseeing systems, product development and project implementation, and remains a director of Enhance Wealth Consultancy and chairman of the Investment Committee.

Justin has been with the company for over 8 years and holds the prestigious Level 7 Masters in Wealth Management from the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments as well as the Investment Management Certificate.

Justin Simpson, new COO of Enhance Group, commented:

“I am really pleased to be taking on this new role as COO of Enhance Group. To have been a part of the growth and expansion of the company over the years has been a pleasure and I look forward to starting the next chapter of my career at Enhance Group”.

Tom Wiseman, Enhance Group CEO, commented:

“We are delighted that Justin has stepped up to this new role and that we have been able to promote from within the company. Justin has been an integral part of the team for many years, contributing greatly to the company’s global success. His skills, knowledge and experience are the perfect fit to take on this position and will strengthen our offering as we move forward and continue to grow”.

 

Enhance Group Announce New CEO and Executive Chairman

Enhance Group Limited (Enhance) has today announced that Tom Wiseman, currently the Managing Director of the London business, will become group CEO from the 1st October. Existing CEO James Painter will now take on the role of Executive Chairman.

Tom, who is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and has been successfully leading the London business for some time, will relocate to Jersey to take on this new role. James, who was one of the original founders of the business in 2005, will now focus on strategic direction at board level, as well as supporting the company’s global business development.

James Painter, former CEO and new Executive Chairman of Enhance Group added:

“Since the business was first created, we have averaged strong growth of 27% annually through delivering great products and a first rate service to clients internationally. Now that our experts who were sent out to establish the Company in Cayman, Geneva and Singapore have achieved their objectives, and the majority of the work is being facilitated from Jersey and London it was the appropriate time to increase our governance and management structure in our head office. In this regard I am delighted to be able to promote and recognise talent from within our team, which is why we are very lucky to have someone of Tom’s caliber ready to head up the business. I am confident with Tom’s leadership and fresh approach that the business will continue to grow and go onto even greater success and I look forward to supporting him in his new role.”

Tom Wiseman, new CEO of Enhance Group, commented:

“I am delighted to accept this new role as the CEO of Enhance. Over the last few years the company has gone from strength to strength and expanded into several new markets. My time heading up the London business has given me valuable insights into the evolving needs of our global clients and how we can provide the new products and services that they need. Jersey is a fantastic, high quality jurisdiction to base this business from, and I am also very excited to have the opportunity somewhere so beautiful.”

 

Enhance Group – Performance Analyst for Portfolio Adviser Wealth Manager Awards 2018

Entries are now open for the Portfolio Adviser Wealth Manager Awards 2018 and Enhance Group are delighted to be the provider of performance analysis for the 6th year running.

Wealth Managers, both boutique and large, who provide investment selection and asset allocation for their clients will have the opportunity to be recognised for brilliance in their field. Entrants will be judged on the results they have achieved based on both qualitative and quantitative data with the hope of being awarded a gold or platinum award for the following categories:

  • Cautious
  • Balanced
  • Aggressive
  • Absolute Return

Wealth Managers can also enter the Media Marketing Award for the company which has shown a level of excellence in their online brand awareness as well as their use of social media.

The independent judging panel is made up of a number of representatives from top organisations in the fields of law, finance, accountancy, consultancy and trust who have experience of working with Wealth Managers themselves.

Paul Tanguy, Investment Analyst at Enhance Group commented:

“Being involved in the Portfolio Adviser Wealth Manager Awards for the last 6 years, we have seen the number of entrants more than double, which not only demonstrates the prestige of these awards within the industry but also reinforces their credibility. Each year we have been able to refine and streamline the analysis process in order to ensure that the judges have fair and robust information to work with when judging such a competitive marketplace.  We’re proud to be supporting the awards again and wish all of the entrants this year the very best of luck.”

The Deadline for entries is Friday 15th September. For more details on how to enter please click here http://bit.ly/2gqOhwx

 

Enhance Provides Data Analysis for the STEP Private Client Awards

STEPPCA Graphic Image 3Enhance are delighted to be once again providing data analysis for the STEP Annual Private Client Awards (‘Investment Team of the Year’ category). This is the 7th year that Enhance have been involved with the awards, using their proprietary fintech software to analyse the risk and return performance of the applicants over certain time periods.

The awards are open globally to both STEP members and non-members and are designed to celebrate excellence among private client solicitors, lawyers, accountants, barristers, bankers, trust managers and financial advisors.

The Enhance analysis process not only provides the judges with a robust and consistent risk adjusted appraisal across all of the service providers, it is also designed to be efficient for the service providers themselves to submit the requisite data.

To enable this data driven approach, if your firm is submitting applications for the Investment Team of the Year Award, you are asked to provide judges with:

  • Define the investment strategy;
  • Define the appropriate benchmark;
  •  Forward a sample portfolio valuation in electronic format that reflects the relevant strategy and;
  • Download and complete the template with 36 months’ worth of performance data along with asset & currency allocation for each of the last 4 quarter-ends for a representative portfolio which aligns to the relevant strategy.

To complete the performance and risk part of the application, you will also need to explain any successful asset allocation changes or recommendations made for clients over the last year and the effect this has had on performance.

The data is then used (with strict confidentiality) to provide the judges with clear analysis. Importantly, Enhances’ software not only crunches the numbers, it presents the results in a meaningful way. Visuals, referred to as “heat maps” are used as part of a detailed report allowing for easy comparison and ensuring managers’ performances are presented on a common platform so the judges are truly comparing like-for-like.

Justin Simpson of Enhance Group, comments:

‘In this challenging category, with many fine service providers, the analysis we provide will give the STEP judges a clear output to assist in their decision making process, reflecting the importance of both harnessing powerful software and fintech within the industry as well as partnering with the right investment management firm. We wish everyone the best of luck with their submissions.’

The cut-off date for submissions is the 28th April 2017 and the awards ceremony will be help on 6th September 2017 at the Westminster Park Plaza in London.

The Benefits of Delegating Investment Oversight: Reduced Risk, Improved Performance

Author: James Painter, CEO, Enhance Jersey

James-Painter

In today’s low interest environment, it has become increasingly challenging for trustees to preserve and enhance the value of trust funds under their duty of care, as few asset classes currently provide a low risk solution that will likely outpace inflation and annual fees. Also, due to the need for consideration of the interests of both present and future beneficiaries, it has become almost impossible to generate acceptable returns without taking some risk. This creates a dichotomy that can be tricky to balance, as protecting the trust’s value in the present could potentially jeopardise its future growth. Getting this balance right requires successful navigation of the complex range of investment opportunities in today’s market, which is why many trustees are increasingly turning to discretionary portfolio managers and consultants for expert advice and assistance.

Donald Trone, former President of the Foundation for Fiduciary Studies, made the following observation, which summarises the position of the fiduciary in relation to investment activities rather well:

“The legal and practical scrutiny a fiduciary undergoes is tremendous, and it comes from multiple directions and for various reasons. It is likely that complaints and/or lawsuits alleging fiduciary misconduct will increase…. Fiduciary liability is not determined by investment performance, but rather on whether prudent investment practices were followed.”

What this means is that effective monitoring of both investment portfolios and investment management providers is more important than ever. Whereas settlors fifty years ago may not have been financially astute, today’s beneficiaries almost certainly are. The majority of beneficiaries today have a good understanding of the investment returns their trustees should have earned, bringing into focus not just how the manager was originally chosen many years ago but the monitoring that has since taken place to ensure the manager was continually up to the job.

This growing awareness on the part of beneficiaries has also contributed to a significant increase in investment related litigation. This litigious era is also a consequence of the fiduciary industry reaching maturity. It has become apparent that when trust funds pass to beneficiaries in today’s climate the duties carried out by the trustees, perhaps over many decades, come under scrutiny. Increasingly this has led to beneficiaries seeking legal recourse where they feel investments have underperformed reasonable expectations.

A further issue for trustees of this development is the unwelcome publicity that inevitably ensues when the courts become involved. Although the majority of cases pertaining to investment performance have been settled out of court, there remains a reputational risk for both companies and jurisdictions.

As a consequence outsourcing arrangements appear to be a current topic across international regulators. As an example, the following extract came out on 27th July 2016:

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore recently released outsourcing risk management guidelines putting a strong focus on conducting due diligence on service providers and materiality of outsourcing arrangements. The new guidelines, which took two years to finalise following a public consultation in 2014, replaced the old guidelines and have already taken immediate effect.” (Source: Bovill 2016)

The GFSC also alluded to the need for due diligence on service providers with its informative Thematic Review 2015 “Fiduciary Decision Making in Respect of Assets Under Trust”. In the introduction it states “Trustees are expected to ‘manage the investment and custody of trust assets professionally and responsibly. Common sense and good intentions are not sufficient to demonstrate that a trustee has appropriately discharged their duties in relation to trust assets. Furthermore, good corporate governance dictates that comprehensive documentation should be maintained, which in turn can reduce the risk of future litigation.”

To mitigate the associated risks and meet regulatory requirements and expectations it is clear that professional fiduciaries need increasingly robust processes for appointing service providers and investment managers. Whilst this can be done internally, the cost of doing so means that many trustees are considering delegating this to a trusted advisor.

Delegating this function to a reputable firm has two distinct advantages over the establishment of an in-house department:

1. Cost savings – The costs involved in running an in-house investment services function are considerable. The smallest team will require one senior qualified personnel, one junior qualified personnel and a data processor. Specialist systems are also required, including a market information terminal such as Bloomberg and a specialist review platform. This can bring the headline cost of such an internal function well in excess of £200k per annum.

2. Conflict of Interest – Providing investment services from a fiduciary business creates concerns over the targeting of retrocession, which can be perceived as a conflict of interest, interfering with a fiduciary’s independence and thus objectivity. By using a delegated function, this is completely removed as the initial decision to promote an Investment manager will be made external to the Trust. Furthermore, commission agreements have been abused in the past with IFA style arrangements such as 5% front-end fees being applied to initial investments. As a consequence, the use of commission arrangements between financial intermediaries has become slightly tarnished.

By leveraging delegation in the right way, it is possible to efficiently implement an investor services function in a cost effective manner without the need for complex systems or recruitment of specialist investment personnel.

For the beneficiaries, this means:

• improved potential for superior performance
• access to a broad spectrum of investment managers that are continuously monitored
• unambiguous objectives detailed in an Investment Policy Statement
• objectives that are matched with investment manager pedigree
• user-friendly, regular monitoring
• peace of mind

For the trustee the benefits include:

• the elimination of a cost centre within the business
• access to specialist, experienced and qualified resources without incurring costs
• A reduced risk of litigation due to improved strategy suitability
• robust processes for the regulator
• peace of mind!

An intelligent delegated arrangement drives up standards while reducing costs, delivering a positive outcome for all stakeholders in a fiduciary structure.

To DIY or not DIY, that is the question…

Author: Tom Wiseman, Managing Director, Enhance London

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I was asked a particularly poignant question by a private client solicitor over lunch recently that I thought I’d share more broadly;

‘Tom: when so many Investment Managers nowadays are similar in terms of style and past performance, why should I pass on the cost of an Investment Consultant to my client when I could make a reasonable fist of a beauty parade and portfolio oversight myself?’

It’s a very fair point and a hot topic in the fiduciary community. After all, it doesn’t take Warren Buffett to identify four or five household names in the investment management industry and invite them to a beauty parade to flaunt their wares to a prospective client.

The UK, in particular, is a very well regulated financial services market and it is not unreasonable to assume that established investment management houses with demonstrable track records will do a perfectly adequate job for clients without the need for any intermediation from a consultant.

Add to this the very helpful tools available to fiduciaries such as STEP’s TMPI Focus List and similar peer group studies, and most Trustees can discharge their fiduciary responsibilities and secure a safe pair of investment hands for their clients following some sensible due diligence.

After a manager (or managers) have been selected for a client, their portfolios can be monitored via an inexpensive independent reporting service against appropriate benchmarks (such as STEP’s TMPI) and an annual review meeting between all interest parties to assess ongoing suitability.

My response to my lunch companion’s question was that Trustees should only use an Investment Consultant where they can add a layer of investment expertise and value that exceeds the fees they charge. A consultant is particularly helpful where clients require one or more of the following facets of service:
– A primary, independent strategic investment adviser for their global affairs
– Portfolio construction that accounts for ethical, structural and tax considerations
– Research based manager selection, diversification and implementation
– Consolidated, multi-account performance reporting with detailed analysis
– On-going monitoring of adherence to a defined Investment Policy Statement
– Fee negotiation with various counterparties

This is not an exhaustive list of potential service requirements, but it does outline key areas where consultants add value to client investment arrangements. The overarching benefit of consultancy is that clients have an independent, well researched investment professional on their side of the table, acting in their best interests. The probability of better risk adjusted performance is increased.

If we do our job properly, a ‘beauty parade’ of household names turns into a tender process of well researched and suitable investment managers for a sensibly constructed Investment Policy Statement. Fee negotiations go from a standard retail tariff to institutional rates, given our intermediated economies of scale. Ongoing oversight changes from manager performance reporting to detailed independent analysis, delivered in appropriate language to the client by a well-informed investment professional.

My hope is that if Enhance only engages with clients that we genuinely feel we can add value to, then this should lead to mutually beneficial long-term relationships with the Trustees we serve. If there is a strong argument to DIY for a client, we will tell you.

Life on the other side: Investment Manager to Investment Consultant

Author: Tom Wiseman, Managing Director, Enhance London

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The reality for Investment Managers in today’s highly regulated environment is that the portfolios they construct and manage on behalf of their clients are governed by the investment philosophies and processes of the firms that they work for. Every Investment Manager has a compliance framework and investment universe to adhere to, some more prescriptive than others, but it still stands that clients receive an investment experience characteristic of the firm they employ.

Having worked for both a traditional ‘bottom up’ Stockbroker and a ‘top down’ Fund Manager serving the same client demographic, I’ve seen firsthand how clients’ portfolios were constructed and managed in very different ways to meet similar objectives. The Stockbroker approach was to adopt fairly static asset allocations preferring active underlying direct security selection, the Fund Manager approach focussed on active asset allocation implemented with collective and passive instruments. Across the wealth management industry there are numerous variations and combinations of these two headline approaches.

Certain approaches suit particular types of client mandate and particular market conditions. It can certainly be argued that, in the current complex macro-economic environment, identifying value at asset class level is more challenging than identifying value at individual security level for example. Therefore it logically follows that no single Investment Manager can truly cater for the needs of all private clients at all times and yet that is exactly what Investment Managers and their firms claim to do.

As I see it, the job of an Investment Consultant is really quite simple. We are truly independent advisers, paid a fee by our clients to oversee their investment affairs and act squarely in their best interests. By thoroughly researching and monitoring a broad selection of Investment Managers, we are able to identify the most appropriate Investment Manager, or combination of Investment Managers, for each of our clients and ensure that they remain fit for purpose on an ongoing basis.

Having spent my entire career as an Investment Manager, I’ve had an unwavering commitment to preserving and growing the wealth of private investors, trusts and charities. This remains the case in my new capacity as an Investment Consultant at Enhance but with one key difference: I now have the opportunity to provide genuinely independent investment advice.

Enhance Investment Consultancy Launches in London

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Enhance Group Limited has launched a new service in London: Enhance Investment Consultancy (EIC).

EIC has been established to offer genuinely independent, institutional-style investment advice on the management of private capital. The service will provide a small number of clients and their trusted advisers with tailored advice on portfolio construction, liquid and illiquid manager selection and oversight and the custody arrangements associated with global wealth.

The EIC service will be managed by Enhance London’s Managing Director Tom Wiseman who is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and Enhance’s Head of Research Dr Ruzhen Li, who is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

The launch comes shortly after Enhance Group’s expansion into Singapore and the Cayman Islands.

Tom Wiseman, Managing Director of Enhance London, commented:

“I’m delighted to officially launch EIC after a significant period of expansion for Enhance. Being a truly independent company, we are ideally placed to provide our clients with unconflicted investment advice that is squarely in their best interests. Given Enhance Group’s global footprint and £20bn of client assets under review, we maintain oversight on hundreds of investment managers across a variety of asset classes, currencies and jurisdictions – providing a robust, institutional calibre research framework for the EIC offering. As EIC will provide a bespoke service, the number of clients we look after will be relatively small, ensuring the service they receive is truly dedicated and highly personalised. We look forward to the months ahead.”

Please visit the EIC website and read the EIC brochure here.

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