Describing the offering as the “first of its kind” for financial advisers working with expats in the city-state, The Fry Group said the discretionary service will enable investment managers to act quickly to changing market movements.
David Pugh, director of The Fry Group, Singapore, told FSA‘s sister publication International Adviser, that it took a while to get the necessary capital markets licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore “to be able to manage client money on a discretionary basis and have our own funds”.
“It allows us to target clients who are willing to invest larger sums. The sweet spot for the business in Singapore has been the £500,000 to £1m ($1.3m, €1.1m) market. With this sophisticated investment solution, we can look at the £1m to £10m market,” Pugh told IA.
The discretionary service is already available in the UK and “the idea will be then to push it out to Hong Kong and Brussels as well,” he added.
The Hong Kong service will take the form of a unitised offerings, “as it is quite difficult running a discretionary service” from the special administrative region, Pugh explained. “So, we’ll launch some funds come the new year, which will work better for Hong Kong.”
The company has the ambition to double the size of its assets in the next five years, Pugh told IA. “To do that, we have to take the investment side of our business extremely seriously. It required a significant investment and we now have a platform for us to go and achieve that pretty ambitious goal.”
The discretionary service will be powered by Purple Asset Management (PAM), a joint venture launched earlier this month between The Fry Group and Independent Strategic Group (ISG), a global digital investment management business. This will be done via a dedicated team based in Singapore.
Pugh said: “Our investment service is a fast growing and exciting part of our business. It’s our aim to delight our clients, and launching a discretionary service is a logical, and much sought-after service for us to offer.
“Delivering investment outcomes is critical to developing long-term relationships with clients, and in today’s increasingly complex, volatile and fluid markets, investment managers need to be able to respond quickly and proactively to market events.”
He added: “The shared vision of ISG, and as well as the firm’s unique technology proposition made them an obvious choice when it came to looking for a make our discretionary service a reality.”
Alan Scrimger, chief executive of PAM and managing director of the ISG Group, said: “Investors are increasingly looking for a diversified and dynamic approach to portfolio construction in seeking the delivery of outcome based investment solutions.
“There’s a gap in the market for expat wealth advisers to offer a discretionary service that fully utilises a combination of rigorous analysis, supported by the transparency and the efficiency of technology. With the current bull market lasting over eight years already, responsive risk management and financial advice are key to ensuring delivery of the correct range of investment outcomes.”