In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the investment industry has come under attack.
Employees of investment companies are seen as being incentivised in such a way that they are not aligned with their clients’ interests and are encouraged to be short term.
Much of the industry views the consumer and regulatory backlash to these issues as a threat.
However, we see it as an opportunity to build a competitive advantage by addressing some of the problems.
The ownership structure of a partnership like WHEB creates stronger bonds with customers than traditional employment.
We are part-owners of WHEB and want to create a strong, enduring business. This means we are inclined to make decisions with a longer term perspective.
We co-invest in the fund. This means that every time we make an investment decision, we are doing so for ourselves as well as for our investors.
We are disciplined about new product launches. This gives our business greater sensitivity to the success of that product for investors.
Growing an investment fund too large damages returns. We believe the capacity of the fund is $2 billion and intend to close it to new investors when AUM reach this level.
We have pledged to:
- Publish all the holdings in our fund
- Publish comprehensive engagement and voting records quarterly
- Publish the Investment Advisory Committee minutes
This might sound obvious, but very few fund managers do anything like this. Only two other UK investment companies have committed themselves to the Eurosif Transparency code
Our independent Investment Advisory Committee provides a layer of independent oversight of the Fund. The Committee challenges us on our adherence to our mandate, process and investment philosophy.
This process is absent from much of the investment industry.