Wealth & Finance International - Fund Awards 2015

www.wealthandfinance-intl.com 51 Harwood Capital Best Aggressive Portfolio Harwood Capital is a rapidly expanding asset management business that offers clients a multitude of ways to access our fund of fund portfolios. They manage two unit trusts (Discovery Balanced, Discovery Managed Growth) a series of model portfolios (actively and passively managed), white labelled OEICs and bespoke models. They also offer consultancy services to financial advisers as well as their bespoke “In-Sourced Investment Director” facility as well. Their CEO, Alan Durrant, was at hand to speak about their thriving business. When we look at a fund, we see it from a number of angles. Of course, we see if the investment approach undertaken by the fund manager stands up to the scrutiny of our investment team due diligence. However, we also look to see if the fund has the ability to operate within the portfolio as a part of the whole. By employing proprietary screens known as SEMAFOUR and Portcullis, we can see if the fund can add value as a part of the port- folio as well as on its own. These screens help us filter the more consistent funds to choose from. We are willing to devote time to understand how a fund will work with the other portfolio holdings and potentially forgive shorter-term underperformance to gain longer-term outperformance. We are different in a number of ways. We have developed unique tools to assist us in the portfolio construction and filtering of funds so we can spend quality time doing in-depth due diligence on managers whom we believe have the ability to add value to our clients. Also, we focus our approach on risk management. We believe that if you fix your asset allo- cation then you must be prepared to accept variable volatility. We would rather fix the volatility and accept variable asset allocation and this means our clients gain a greater understanding for why we increase or reduce exposure to certain assets, asset classes or managers for instance. By undertaking this approach we differentiate ourselves from our compet- itors. Markets are volatile by their nature and our unique tools also assist us in creating diversity across the markets whilst still maintaining risk con- trol forcing us to make changes when the pre-defined guidelines dictate. Furthermore, we are a young, vibrant and dynamic business operating in a complex profession where challenge and change is ever pervading. To stay on top of all the developments you have to stay focussed and nimble whilst offering a first rate service. We purposefully keep our costs under control and delegate responsibility and accountability throughout the company so every individual feels wanted as well as valued in the smooth operation of the business. This is not a nine to five profession. These are not nine to five jobs, but ones where real decisions can make the difference between a happy retirement or a few extra years in the workplace. As a result, this is something we don’t take lightly, and are constantly striving for better results in every aspect of the company. The financial services sector demands a high standard of service and is something we take pride in delivering every time. This is achieved in a number of ways. Firstly, having a happy, professional and driven workforce who are proud of what they do is essential. Secondly, invest- ing in quality tools to make their work better helps. Finally, we also like to frequently communicate with our clients as we know dealing with an individual’s financial assets is an incredibly emotive subject. We know it is easier to lose a client than gain one, so we look to hold onto the ones we have and not give them the desire to want to look elsewhere. Two important lessons we have learned from our experience is that no two markets are the same and no two days are the same either. Regulation is constantly evolving, and the demands on our time change like the direction of the wind. If you are not moving forward you are standing still, and our investment team is very experienced and in con- stant contact with the fund management profession. They have worked for large and small companies and both managed and overseen several billion pounds in their careers in a number of different geographical locations for private clients, retail funds and institutional mandates. Our “little black books” are extensive; we know we work in a service industry and that means both up and down the chain. The past year (from a front office point of view) has been very much about the unwinding of quantitative easing (QE) in the US and UK and how this will impact the capital markets of the world. QE has distorted the equity and debt markets for many a year and as we get closer to economic cycles normalising and interest rates rising, the management of the transition will be both interesting and to a certain degree painful. From a corporate perspective, regulatory change always have to take the top spot. As for the award, it is a wonderful honour to be awarded “Best Ag- gressive Portfolio” in the 2015 Fund Awards and a great message to highlight to both existing and potential clients that we have the ability to deliver portfolios that are independently recognised as worthy of such praise. The main thing we strive for is to provide clients with high quality portfolios that are broadly diversified, risk controlled and forward look- ing. We are successful because we care about our clients, we commu- nicate with them and we offer a first rate service. To win any award is a sign that the services we provide meet exacting standards and is something to both strive for and be proud of. It shows our clients, peers and competitors that we have the ability to compete in an incredibly complex market and our approach and philosophy to portfolio construction stands up against the rigours of dynamic markets. We have grown our business successfully in the past both organically and through acquisition and this approach is unlikely to change in the future. With ongoing regulatory change and compliance becoming an even larger part of the cost base, the profession is likely to see further consolidation. Our business plans to continue to offer first rate service, continue our communication, deliver products and services that our clients are happy to buy/own and build upon our standing in the market place.

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