Joining the individually managed account race

Published in Financial Standard, April 2009

Boutique investments firm Wealth Within has launched its own proprietary Individually Managed Accounts (IMA) platform, following two and a half years of development.

"Managed accounts have become a mainstream product in recent years but until now financial planners have only been able to offer their clients separately managed accounts (SMA)," said Colin Owens, director of Wealth Within.

"And with more and more financial planners and other wealth management professionals recognising the benefits of managed accounts to generate new revenue for their business, we believe this product will provide them with a more sophisticated offering for their clients," he added.

The new service, called the Direct Equity Managed Account Service, will enable brokers to cater for more than 100 clients, exceeding the limit of clients that they can traditionally provide personalised service to.

"In the past, brokers have only been able to service a limited number of IMA clients, usually around 100," said Owens.

"Indeed most IMAs are powered by large investment houses or firms that are big enough to support a larger number thereby providing the service at a lower cost and with more bells and whistles than a small to mid-size firm can potentially provide. But that is about to change."

An additional feature is that the platform will offer internally geared investment mandates by July. 

This means there is no recourse to the investor outside of their investments in the platform as they are not personally borrowing against their fund.

"We believe that it is the fund manager who is ultimately responsible for the underlying investment decisions and therefore should be held accountable for those decisions, not the investor," said Dale Gilham, the firm's chief analyst.

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