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Wealth managers who earned their fees (and how they did it)

Wealth managers
Which wealth managers deserve your cash? Research reveals the best performers

Wealth managers have come under pressure as scrutiny on Britain’s largest advice firm – St James’s Place – has shone a light on the industry’s often opaque charges and poor performance.

But some are worth paying for, according to specialist publisher Citywire, which this week unveiled the best performers.

Those willing to take more risk should look no further than Wise Funds. Its Multi-Asset Growth fund took the top spot after it returned 47.5pc over the past three years.

Vincent Ropers, co-manager of the fund, said, despite being the winner of the “aggressive” category, it was its defensive assets that has propelled the performance this year.

As the global economy has slowed down and a “stark change” in interest rates expectations has caused a shift in the bond market, the fund’s exposure to alternatives has proved key. It owns two holdings related to precious metals, both of which rose by more than 50pc.

He added: “Our positions in infrastructure and utilities also performed well, not only offering income but also providing us with attractive underlying earnings growth.”

In the “steady growth” category, for those with a slightly lower appetite for risk,  P1 Investment Management came out on top. The ethically minded wealth manager saw its Growth Focus Portfolio carve out a return of 35.8pc over the past three years.

Will Dickson, of the firm, said it has performed particularly well in 2019 so far, after it bought into the market following the sharp declines at the end of 2018.

He said: “Share price valuations just looked really compelling so we added to the Liontrust Special Situations fund, which we’ve held for many years and has performed well for us.”

The £4.9bn fund is headed by Anthony Cross and Julian Fosh, who have been in charge since its launch in 2005.

The managers look to buy companies that they believe have a “competitive advantage”, such as irreplaceable intellectual property, that allow them to grow their profits for longer than the market expects. Current examples include consumer goods company Unilever, Guinness owner Diageo and drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline.

The fund is up 26.6pc over the past three years, while its average peer and the wider British market have made 15.6pc and 13.6pc respectively.

At the other end of the risk scale, Sanlam came out on top for those investors that are more cautious. Over the past three years its Multi Strategy fund has made investors 18.9pc.

Fund manager Mike Pinggera said having a relaxed approach to investing in stocks has served the fund well during difficult periods.

The amount he holds in shares has ranged from 3pc to 29pc this year and currently it has 16pc in the stockmarket.

Combining both high and low risk, the best “Balanced fund” was James Hambro and Partners’ Mandate 2 Portfolio, which returned 25.3pc over three years.

One of its best decisions was to buy shares in the London Stock Exchange (LSE) at the beginning of this year.

Head of investments James Beck said: “There’s huge growth in passive investing, and through FTSE and Russell Group, the LSE has a large exposure to that trend.”

LSE’s share price has risen by just more than 75pc since the start of the year after rival Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing tabled a takeover bid for the business, which has since been withdrawn.