5 Things You Should Look For in an Investment Manager

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BPI, Bank of the Philippine Islands, investment manager, financial advice, wealth management

For many high net worth individuals, keeping and growing their wealth is an important preoccupation. But some would rather entrust their money to an institution or an investment manager to accomplish this needful task. Choosing who to trust, however, can be challenging.

Despite the abundance of qualified investment managers offering financial advice and advocating sophisticated investment strategies, the question remains: How can you identify a good investment manager? Here are 5 things you should look out for in an investment manager:

  1. CHARACTER AND COMPETENCE

Character and competence correspond to trust, respect, proficiency and credibility. With both high competence and a strong character, these traits make managers the centers of influence – the key people who can help effect change. Investment managers who embody these traits help clients feel more relaxed, knowing they can be trusted and are capable of successfully managing investment portfolios.

According to Sheila Tan, Bank of the Philippine Islands Asset Management and Trust Corporation (BPI AMTC) President, “Good investment managers must possess two things – competency and character. They must go through various trainings and certifications to establish their technical expertise. They must undergo continuing education and strive to keep abreast of current developments.”

2. CLIENT-ORIENTEDNESS

Prior to onboarding, clients should first be assured by their investment managers that their financial situation, experiences, risk appetite, needs and target are fully understood. Collecting this information enables portfolio managers to propose solutions suitable for the specific needs and circumstances of clients.

“We make sure that our investment managers possess the right qualities and mindset. They must put our clients’ interests above their own,” Tan said. “They undergo rigorous hours of training and educating so they can make sound investment decisions. They help clients formulate their own investment strategy, design their investment portfolio, and determine the management, review, and reporting of investment performance,” she added.

3. CREDIBILITY AND REPUTATION

Reputation has grown in importance especially since investors are also doing more to learn about managing assets. The strong reputation of a portfolio manager not only shows his credibility but complements his other capabilities and the advanced services his company may have. These competencies are evidenced by a portfolio manager’s track record and consistent performance across economic cycles, assuring investors and helping clients feel secure.

Wealth managers for high net worth investors should provide the best asset and fund management, while upholding ethical and professional standards in managing assets. They should practice prudence and diligence in managing clients’ funds and conform to a rigorous investment process for above par risk-adjusted returns over well-defined investment horizons.

4. UNQUESTIONABLE INTEGRITY

Leading with integrity is a quality that requires honesty, consistency in character, and fairness in actions. Investment managers who prioritize their client’s needs over their self-interest demonstrate unquestionable integrity that speaks of the reputation of his company.

“Investment managers are held to the highest standards of professionalism and thus must have unquestionable integrity. Prudence is an essential virtue to have. They must always act for the benefit and in the best interests of clients and adhere to all the requirements set forth by regulations and internal policies”, said Tan.

5. INDUSTRY EXPERTISE

Investment managers should provide clients with domestic and international investment alternatives, and regularly give updates on products and services to take advantage of emerging investment opportunities.

“We are firm believers that the growth of the asset management industry rests on the increased financial knowledge of Filipino investors, and this is why we strive to continuously enhance our investor education programs, and products and wealth management solutions,” said Tan.

“Education is vital. On the part of investors, it’s important to find an investment manager or team that can be trusted, and there are tools available online and offline to help them determine the best partner that they can work with when it comes to managing their hard-earned assets. For our part, as a fiduciary, it is our responsibility to our investors to deliver unquestionable integrity,” she added.

BPI AMTC is the country’s only domestic asset manager with a multi-strategy orientation that caters to a wide range of investor classes, including an enhanced distribution capability through its 800-strong branch network, online and mobile investments platform, and bank partners nationwide. It currently has PhP577 billion in assets under management (AUM) as of March 2018.

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