A flavor of what we do

1. Investments
1.1 After a sustained period of good relative performance, the core equity product has badly lagged its benchmark. This is a frequent occurrence and it takes some careful investigation, based on one to one interviews, and careful portfolio analytics to understand the cause and recommend remedial action. Can it be attributed to a style consideration or another fundamental shift in market dynamics? If not has something changed in the team or the way it functions? Has risk management become more intrusive? It could be any number of things but hands on experience of investment management will root it out in the end.
1.2 A Fund of Hedge Fund has recently taken a number of “hits” with its underlying single strategy funds. How can this be avoided? Of course recent conditions have been extreme but often the governance and due diligence procedures are not what they should be in alternative managers. These will be carefully reviewed and implicitly benchmarked to best practice. Is operational due diligence an integral part of the process with a right of veto? Have “spikes” in performance triggered a review as much as poor performance? Is risk management reporting directly to the CEO and are there built in escalation procedures for risk management to go to the Board? Again this is a process of careful investigation and considerable exposure to the industry
2. Sales and Marketing
2.1 An investment manager has built up a successful franchise with a combination of private and institutional clients in one European country but it feels it has the “alpha” to broaden its institutional penetration to other countries in Europe and even the US. With a deep insight into the institutional markets and how the “gatekeepers”operate, we will first check whether the product characteristics fit the criteria of these markets and prioritize the key markets and sub-segments. We will then work with this manager to explain the process for getting into consultant data bases and what resources are needed in sales and client servicing
2.2 An emerging manager has built up a good franchise mostly through word of mouth but it now wants to more proactively market itself. We will work with this manager to develop a “pitch book” by first gaining a very good insight into the product(s) and the genes of the firm, to draw out a good description and the elements of differentiation that will make the difference in the marketplace
3. Due Diligence
3.1 A private equity group has identified a wealth management firm with a strong investment tilt that it is considering adding to its specialized fund. They are seeking a quick validation for this investment and we can very expeditiously interview the key professionals and review the organization to arrive at a quick set of pros and cons and overall recommendation that is unbiased by any success fees
3.2 A small to medium size bank with an embedded asset management operation is debating whether to keep it, outsource partially or totally. We can quickly assess the situation and make specific recommendations, keeping in mind that outsourcing does require manager selection and monitoring capabilities either internally or itself outsourced which we are also very familiar with