People & Process

Our Service and Remuneration

The Adviser Centre, launched in 2014, is an online, free-to-air fund research and investment consultancy service which features analysis and information on actively-managed funds, selected from the whole of the market.  It is dedicated to supporting financial professionals in their fund selection work, with a special emphasis on helping with the assessment of fund suitability. The service is practical, focused and easy-to-use and designed to reside at the heart of a financial adviser’s investment process.

Funds that feature within The Adviser Centre are selected for their quality, utility and value for money attributes (see “Our Philosophy”).  A single-page factsheet is available for each featured fund, incorporating factual information, together with the team’s clearly articulated opinion of the fund, an explanation of its characteristics and suggestions on how it can be utilised in investment portfolios.

Formerly members of the research and consultancy teams at Morningstar and OBSR, The Adviser Centre team has a strong heritage in delivering market-leading fund research and opinion.  The service provides a host of additional materials, providing perspectives and guidance for advisers on markets, IA sectors and fund manager changes.

Dynamic and Market-Aware

The service is dynamic in nature and reacts quickly to changes as and when they occur. Our background as active investors in pooled funds means that our interests are aligned with the advisers who use the service and the work we undertake reflects that requirement.  

Specifically, the opinions and views expressed are always formed in the context of the market environment.  This allows us to bring greater clarity to the analysis of individual funds, as well as to the broader peer group and the wider market.

Our Recommended, Established and Positive Watch Funds

The focal point of the service is the “Fund Search” section.  Here you can find our fund factsheets, which are organised into three lists – Recommended, Established and Positive Watch.  Please see the “Our Fund Lists” section for an explanation of the criteria that underpin these categories.

Our recommendations are built around the critical elements of:

  • Quality – assessing a fund manager’s abilities, experience and resources in the context of a fund’s objectives.
  • Utility – assessing a fund’s risk and return characteristics and formulating our expectations for its behaviour in different market conditions.
  • Value for money – questioning whether a fund has the potential to add value, net of fees, over and above a specified and understandable reference point.  This value-add may be expressed simply in terms of its performance outcome compared to a relevant passively-managed vehicle; alternatively, the value-add may be determined by attractive risk-adjusted returns or a lower volatility outcome; it may also be a manager’s ability to run a mix of assets successfully or to provide access to a specialist investment opportunity.  Therefore a fund’s “value for money” is not only about its costs, but also about the kind of outcome it offers to investors.

Each factsheet provides background information on the fund’s investment team, philosophy, process, portfolio construction and risk controls, as well as providing some key facts.  It also features our opinion of the fund, our view of its characteristics and its utility together with a risk commentary, which makes reference to a fund’s KIID SRRI score.

Our key aim is to provide pertinent and succinct information, in a single page format, which helps advisers to understand what to expect from a fund and to determine a fund’s suitability for their clients.   

Our IA Sector Overviews

In the “IA Overviews” section of the site, you are able to view our IA Sector Overviews.  Here we cover the main Investment Association sectors and provide our perspectives about the sector and the market, an overview of investment styles and mandates, the key benchmarks employed by the managers, a sector performance summary and a comment on the KIID SRRI scores and volatility.   We also categorise the funds that we feature in The Adviser Centre and put them into the context of the sector.

Our aim is to bring together our broader views about sectors and markets, highlight the choices available in each sector and explain some of the biases that can have an important influence on the sector average risk and return outcomes.

A Host of Additional Features

Other features of the service are:

  • Bulletins - we respond rapidly to events as necessary and explain any changes to our views in the “Bulletins” section.
  • Adviser Guidance - we produce Guidance notes articulating our views on how to respond to important fund changes.  Our Monthly Viewpoint and other articles provide our perspectives and opinions on economies, markets and sectors.
  • Blog - we look to share insights and snippets of information that we think you will find illuminating.
  • My Adviser Centre - you are able to maintain a list of your favourite funds in this section.

Our Remuneration

Our research is completely impartial and covers the whole of the actively-managed, open-ended funds market (available for sale in the UK). 

  • The Adviser Centre is free of charge for regulated professional advisers.
  • The Adviser Centre is partially funded through licensing arrangements with fund management groups who may purchase the licensing rights to use the recommendations in the form of independent, third party endorsements of their own funds.

We regard any revenue received from the licensing as a contribution to the costs of establishing and maintaining The Adviser Centre service.  It is not designed to be a revenue source and, hence, the fee is set at a low level.

The price for this licensing arrangement is set at  £20,000 p.a. (excluding VAT).  This is a flat price and does not change in response to a greater (or lesser) number of funds being featured in the service.  The exception to this is that we also offer a smaller companies rate, which is set at £7,000 p.a. (excluding VAT) and this is applicable to asset managers with less than £2 billion in retail-facing mutual funds.  

Importantly, we cover funds offered by any asset manager, regardless of licensing arrangements.  An asset manager’s decision to purchase a marketing licence has no bearing on our decision to feature a fund in our service.

This open and fair pricing model reinforces the unbiased nature of our research.

People & Process