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Our Research - How we select financial products and solutions for You

Financial products come in at the end of our advisory process and are there to fill the gaps so to speak.  We never lead discussions with products. 

Nonetheless, they are the important tools used to implement your strategies and as such it is crucial that they are of the highest quality and will serve you well.

That does not happen by accident.  It is instead, the result of much research and investigation.  This applies to any and all financial products we may recommend to our client, including Superannuation Funds, Investments, Insurances etc.

Similar research processes are employed regardless of the nature of the products, be an investment or insurance.  An example of this rigeur is shown below:

1.  Filter Investment / Insurance Universe

A reasonable number of funds and insurers are selected for further consideration and research.  The number included will depend upon factors such as:

  • the size of the universe

  • the location of managers

  • demand for such funds

  • our client requirements etc.

2. Initial Fund Manager / Insurer Review

This focuses on the key elements of an investment manager/insurer and aims to capture all aspects of their funds/policies as well as their capabilities, resourcing and their ability to meet or exceed the targeted investment objectives or claim paying on a consistent basis over time.  More specifically, these aspects include:

a) Business Profile:

  • Ownership / Management

  • Investment style

  • Resourcing and business capitalisation

  • Fund capacity

  • Liquidity controls

  • Aim and objective of the fund/manager

b) Investment costs / Premium competitiveness

c) Investment / Insurance Process:

  • Investment philosophy and process incl investment decision making process

  • Details of any ethical/social screening used

  • Details of currency hedging philosophy

  • Risk management controls

  • Portfolio turnover

  • Use of leverage/gearing, etc

  • Underwriting assessment process and philosophy

  • Claim assessments

  • Claims paying history

d) Performance

  • Performance comparison against its own objectives

  • Comparison against indices and peers.

  • Consistency of performance

  • Performance attribution

e) Team

  • Size and experience of investment team

  • Team turnover

  • Remuneration of investment personnel

f) Product Features

  • Features/benefits analysis

  • Competitor analysis

  • Product flexibility

3. Conduct due diligence

Once the information in step 2 has been received and analysed, it will be reviewed along with supporting documentation such as:

  • FSC Investment Management Questionnaires

  • Portfolio analysis

  • Performance analysis

  • Attribution analysis

  • Research house reports

  • Product Disclosure Statements

For products/funds that continue to be of interest, the research team will then meet with the product manager / insurer and conduct further due diligence on the manager’s / insurer’s capabilities.

4. Final Review & Recommendation

Once the due diligence process identifies suitable offerings, the research team will prepare a recommendation to the investment committee for approval for inclusion of the ‘Approved Product List’ (APL).  As part of the recommendation, the research team will recommend that an associated APL status be applied to the fund/product depending upon the relative conviction and view on the product.  These include:

  • Buy

  • Hold

  • Under Review

  • Exit on next review

  • Sell

5. Ongoing Monitoring

The primary objective of monitoring the APL it to ensure that it continues to be made up of high quality investment and insurance offerings and continues to meet the client and business objectives.

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