For this first blog I wanted to set out the qualities and cultural values that we have at WHEB Asset Management. When the two teams (the original WAM team and the ex-Henderson SRI team members) first started speaking to each other this is the framework that we set out for us to strive towards. This is not a business strategy, but a vision of some of the cultural qualities that we would like to see this business embody:
Research based with a long-term investment focus
We see ourselves as long term investors that make well researched investment decisions. Many investors claim to have a long term approach. However, as an increasing amount of research shows, this is often not what they actually do. In his ongoing review of UK equity markets and long term decision making, John Kay has written of the important distinction between ‘Investors’, who are interested in the underlying cashflow of a business or an investment, and ‘Traders’, who look for arbitrage, newsflow and momentum. We aim to be firmly in the ‘Investor’ camp and to demonstrate this by being transparent about levels of turnover within our portfolios.
Professional, serious investment managers
The combination of investment professionals that WHEB Asset Management has brought together is unrivalled in the Sustainable Investments world. We have a considered, disciplined and thorough investment process. The team has a very strong track record of investment performance built up over seven years at Henderson with the Industries of the Future strategy. By joining together with the WHEB Asset Management team, we now have all the right component parts in place to deliver a best-in-class investment product for the global equities market. We have long term plans to grow additional investment strategies, but will only launch new product when we are confident that we can make the same promise again to our investors.
Transparent, and prepared to challenge the status quo of the investment world
The financial services industry today faces unprecedented scrutiny from the outside world, and with good reason. The City needs to address some of the fundamental flaws within the financial system if it is to rebuild its relationships with clients and with wider society. As an independently minded investment boutique without a long tail of business we are unencumbered by legacy vested interests to protect, and we want to build a relationship of trust with our customers, based on open and honest communication. We want to be innovative and transparent in our approach; hence, for example, we aim to regularly publish a full list of our fund holdings as opposed to the industry norm of only showing the top ten.
Client centred, dedicated to providing the best possible service
As a small independent business we naturally feel much closer to our clients than we did as part of a large institution separated by layers of client management and reporting. We believe that clients of sustainability investment funds should have a fundamentally different experience of making an investment, consistent with the nature of the product. We recognise that the long-term success of our business is dependent on putting our customer’s interests first in the shorter term.
Here for the long-term
Through WHEB Asset Management, WHEB Group has made a serious commitment to building a major asset management business in the sustainability investments sector. We have a long-term backer, and the management team have an ownership stake in the business. This ownership structure makes a critical difference in delivering a long-term investment process. As a result the management team is incentivised to make WHEB Asset Management an ongoing success over the long term; which better aligns our and our client’s interests.