Fraser Smith in portfolio drive

Financial advisory consultant Fraser Smith is launching a major marketing drive aimed at convincing law firms not to take their investment management business in-house.

The firm has spent 18 months developing an asset management introductory scheme among accountants and solicitors, aimed at providing rock bottom asset management charges by fund managers by consolidating introduced business with them.

The firm also claims its system is well equipped to achieve good returns through monitoring fund managers' performance.

Tim Parsons, director in charge of professional asset management at Fraser Smith, says it can offer a typical 0.75 per cent annual management fee on an equity portfolio, compared to a typical 1 per cent change in the sector. Of this, 0.25 per cent of this fee is rebated to the solicitor.

"Solicitors are always assured of the best fund managers and we are monitoring what the fund managers are doing, so there is someone else helping to perform the duty of care," he says.

"We have no loyalty if firms are failing to perform."

After 18 months of a softly softly marketing approach as the scheme has been established, Parsons says he is ready to go full tilt at the legal market.

"We are acting as large business introducers, so we can offer keener terms," he says. The scheme is competing for the middle range of firms which may be thinking about doing it themselves rather than going outside for their investment management.

"A lot of firms have looked at the Association of Solicitor Investment Managers approach, but we are an alternative for the middle range of firms. We will be marketing directly to them, and getting a lot of business coming though by referral."

The firm already deals with over 50 accountants and solicitors firms, and already has a contract to offer its service through the Conquest network of law firms.