RBC's new service

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has launched a discretionary management service aimed at solicitors' private clients. The Strategic Investment Portfolio (SIP), has a minimum investment of only u25,000.

Philip Darwall-Smith of Royal Bank of Canada Investment Management says: "After discussions with professional firms we have brought our minimum down from u200,000."

Clients will be directly invested in equities and bonds in one of three standard portfolios: income aimed at providing higher returns than from deposits and some capital growth; balanced, designed to achieve returns greater than from the FTSE 100 for both capital and income, and growth, looking for long-term capital growth. The portfolios will typically be invested in about 20 securities.

The new service is based on a computerised investment management system developed by Credit Suisse. RBC hopes to build a family of portfolios investing in specialised areas.

SIP is available with a 3 per cent front end charge payable to the introducer and a 2 per cent annual management fee, plus a 0.5 per cent annual trail fee.

"Solicitors can offset our fees to their clients and the annual management fee reduces to 1.5 per cent," says Darwall-Smith.

There are no other charges apart from stamp duty on purchases.