News 2

What are the risks?

When sending and receiving emails you should be aware of the associated risks which we have highlighted below:

Malware – Emails from unknown sources may contain viruses which can compromise your data
Phishing – This is a method of fraudulently trying to obtain sensitive information or data by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity
Interception – Emails can be intercepted before reaching the intended recipient and any information which is not encrypted could be stolen
Human Error – Emails can easily be sent to the incorrect recipient if the address is typed incorrectly

How can I send and receive emails securely?

To help reduce the above risks and to ensure your emails are as secure as possible, we have included some example guidelines as follows:

• Email accounts should be protected by a strong password. Some of the National Cyber Security Centre guidance suggests:

o Using a password manager
o Choosing a strong and separate password for your email account
o Using three random words to create a strong password
o Being creative and using words memorable only to you. Don’t use words such as current partner’s name, family members’ name, pet’s name, place of birth, favourite holiday, something related to your favourite sports team
o Set up two-factor authentication for your email account

• Where possible, password protect and zip any attachments and send the password in a follow up email or confirm the password via telephone.

• Always double check the recipient email address is correct:

Query TypeTeamEmail Address
Dealing QueriesDealing Teamdealing@ifslfunds.com
Account Opening & Stock Transfer QueriesRegistration Teamregistration@ifslfunds.com
Contract Note QueriesBusiness Supportcontractnotes@ifslfunds.com
Distribution QueriesDistributions TeamdistributionsIFSL@ifslfunds.com
Sinfonia QueriesInvestor Supportsinfonia@ifslfunds.com
CAF Data Refresh Form QueriesCAF Data Refresh Teamcaf@ifslfunds.com
All Other QueriesInvestor Supportifslclientsupport@ifslfunds.com

• Look out for spoof/hoax email addresses or names. The recipient email address should match those listed above exactly.

• Avoid opening attachments and refrain from clicking embedded links from unknown senders until you can confirm the origin of the email. If you would like to confirm that an email has come from us, you can call us on 0808 178 9321 and our Investor Support team will be able to verify this for you.

• Be aware of phishing emails which ask you for sensitive information (such as bank details).

• Keep your email client, operating system and web browser updated.

• Verify the source of any potentially suspicious emails you receive via a follow up phone call.

• We will always aim to reply to your email and confirm receipt within 2 hours. For emails received after 4pm we will aim to respond to you by 10am the next day. If you do not receive a response confirming receipt, please follow up your email with a telephone call to ensure it has been received.

• Always remember, if in doubt you can follow up any email with a call to our offices on 0808 178 9321 and we will be able to help you with your queries. If you do not feel comfortable sending protected documents via email the option to send these via post is still available. The address to post any documentation to is:

Investment Fund Services Limited
Marlborough House
59 Chorley New Road
Bolton
BL1 4QP

Please allow for extra processing time when sending documents via post as some areas of the country are experiencing reduced levels of postal service due to Coronavirus.

COVID-19: In following government advice on social distancing and to ensure the well-being of our staff, our current preferred methods of dealing are detailed below. If you can’t email or telephone us, we can still accept paper documents although there may be a delay in processing these instructions due to our reliance on the postal service. As part of these arrangements we will also be suspending cheque payments until further notice.

What this means for investors

How to invest your money

1.To open a new account and invest

To open a new account please complete and sign the relevant application form found under the literature section of the website. The application form must then be scanned or clearly photographed and emailed to dealing@ifslfunds.com. Please ensure an email address or telephone number is listed on the application form so that we may easily contact you if there are any issues. Deals on new accounts cannot be placed until we have received both the emailed application form and the payment (see below for how to send payment).

2. Invest in an existing account by email

To place a deal via email please complete the relevant form as found under the literature section of the website. This can then be scanned or clearly photographed and sent to dealing@ifslfunds.com. Any subscriptions into ISA accounts will only be placed once we are in receipt of both the instruction and payment. Please refer to the ‘Payment details for investments’ section below.

3. Invest into an existing account by phone

To place a deal on an existing account over the phone please call the dealing line on 0808 164 5458. A dealer will take you through the security process and will be able to take the deal from you.

If you are placing a subscription, we ask that you send payment as detailed below.

Please note: If you are looking to top up your ISA and have not invested in the current or previous tax year we will require a completed ISA application form. We will accept a scanned or clearly photographed copy of the form sent to us at dealing@ifslfunds.com . For ISA subscriptions we will be unable to place the deal until we have received payment.

4. Payment details for investments

As we are currently suspending cheque payments please send GBP payment for deals electronically to:

Account Name: IFSL – Client Account
Account No: 54597761
Sort Code: 40-05-30
IBAN: GB85MIDL40053054597761
BIC CODE: MIDLGB22

Please use your name, your IFSL account number or holder ID as a reference so that we can match this up with your deal instruction. Not adding a reference to the payment may delay the deal being placed or result in the deal being rejected.

5. Selling your investments

For redemption deals where we have not received a signed instruction (for example if placed over the phone) we will send you a renunciation form. Ideally, we will send this to an email provided by yourself. There may be a delay to you receiving any renunciation forms sent via post.

Please put your bank details on the form and send a scanned or clearly photographed copy of this to settlements@marlboroughfunds.com . The bank details quoted on the renunciation form must be that of the account holder with us. Joint accounts will be accepted.

All proceeds will be sent direct to your bank account, we will not be sending cheques at this time.

6. Keeping your account records up to date

For any account updates you may need to action (for example a change of address) please email registration@ifslfunds.com where our team will provide you with more information on how to proceed.

Contact Us

If you would like to provide additional information, bank details, or you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on:

Phone:             0808 178 9321               +44 1204 803 932
Email:              IFSLClientSupport@marlboroughfunds.com

The short-term impact of COVID-19 on the world economy has been significant in that, with a few notable exceptions (food being an obvious example), huge swathes of economic activity have halted, with large numbers of businesses seeing a significant reduction in revenue, leading to the widespread furloughing of staff. Whilst this is clearly unprecedented in peacetime, the reaction of independent central banks and governments has placed a ‘limit’ on the damage being done to the global economy.

Central banks have reacted by injecting large-scale additional liquidity into the system, including relaunching and expanding quantitative easing measures, and by slashing interest rates. At the same time, governments have responded by providing direct support to employees and employers, making available grants and soft loans for small businesses and offering significant support for some of the sectors most impacted by COVID-19 (e.g. airlines).

It is self-evident that markets have fallen quite a long way and that the impact of COVID-19 on economic growth in quarters one and two of 2020 will be severe. However, the indications are that the outbreak has a certain lifecycle (using China and Italy as examples). So we can tentatively look forward a few months, with the expectation that from the beginning of quarter three, or perhaps more confidently the middle of that quarter, life for us all might perhaps be returning to normal, with a consequent significant boost to the economy likely. At some point we would expect to see stock markets looking to reflect this recovery through share prices.

Before we get to that point we should not discount the possibility of more shocks to the system, with perhaps further harrowing stories or evidence of the impact of COVID-19, particularly domestically, as well perhaps as the possibility of the collapse of a major company. Incidents such as this will clearly impact market sentiment negatively.

By the same token, however, we should not doubt the resolve of independent central banks and governments to put in place whatever measures are necessary to see us through this crisis. If the history of previous market shocks (1973 oil crisis, 1987 crash, 2000 tech crash and the 2008 global financial crisis) has taught us anything there will inevitably be a recovery in markets and it is only a matter of waiting for this to happen.

As at 02/04/2020

Risk Warnings

Capital is at risk. This is not advice. The value and income from investments can go down as well as up and are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future performance and should not be the sole factor considered when selecting funds.

Regulatory Information

Issued by Investment Fund Services Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (reference number 464193). Registered office: Marlborough House, 59 Chorley New Road, Bolton, BL1 4QP. Registered in England No. 06110770.

Update on 3rd April 2020

It is over a week since we closed our office premises and moved fully to home working. We are pleased to say that we continue to take calls, respond to emails and (other than a change to cheque payments) look after our investors as normal. 

All of our staff are working as hard as ever and making full use of the technology available to us to maintain good communications with investors, partners, clients and each other.

What lies ahead is still uncertain for all of us but our planning and preparation continues as we seek to ensure our service remains at the highest standards achievable.

As ever, we wish everyone well.

Update on 24th March 2020

Following the announcement made by the Prime Minister on 23rd March we have taken the final steps necessary to close our office premises completely, from the end of Tuesday 24th March.

That means that all our staff are now working from home as they adhere to Government guidance while continuing to provide our usual service to our investors and their advisers.

We wish all our investors, clients, colleagues and suppliers well.

You can find important information about what this means for investors by clicking below;

Update on 19th March 2020

Our priority during the COVID-19 outbreak is ensuring we continue to provide a high quality service for our investors and their advisers, while also looking after the health of our staff.

We have been testing and refining a range of measures to ensure we can continue to operate effectively during this challenging period.

Our specific arrangements focus on two key scenarios and the circumstances that might lead to them. These are high levels of staff absence and an inability to access our offices. We have identified our critical staff (those that are needed to ensure our funds are properly operated and managed on a day-to-day basis), the impact of staff childcare needs following the closure of schools and the performance of our systems when our staff work remotely, such as from home. This is in addition to splitting sites, restricting business-related travel and providing flexibility for staff at higher risk from the virus.

We have comprehensive business continuity plans in place, which we enhance when we feel it would be helpful, and we also carry out regular testing of scenarios. As a consequence, we feel we have taken the necessary steps to protect the operation of our funds, the best interests of our investors and the welfare of our staff. This should mean as little disruption as possible throughout the developing situation, however it might unfold.

We have also been in touch with any external businesses who support our funds, such as Investment Managers and Depositories, to ensure they too are prepared and have plans in place should they be needed. 

We will closely monitor the spread of the COVID-19 and its implications to ensure we continue to provide a high-quality service for our investors, while also taking all necessary steps to safeguard the health of our staff.

Risk Warnings

Capital is at risk. This is not advice. The value and income from investments can go down as well as up and are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future performance and should not be the sole factor considered when selecting funds.

Regulatory Information

Issued by Investment Fund Services Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (reference number 464193). Registered office: Marlborough House, 59 Chorley New Road, Bolton, BL1 4QP. Registered in England No. 06110770.

Marlborough appoints Sarah Peaston as third independent non-executive director

The Marlborough Group has appointed Sarah Peaston as the third independent non-executive director of Marlborough Fund Managers and IFSL Fund Services.

Sarah, who has more than two decades’ experience in financial services, is a specialist in regulatory matters. She is founder and director of Regulatory Governance Consulting Limited, a consultancy service that assists businesses with regulatory governance and provides thought leadership in the regulatory space.

She joins two other independent non-executive directors on the boards of Marlborough and IFSL. They are Guy Sears, former Interim CEO of the Investment Association, and David Kiddie, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the investment management industry.

Prior to her work at Regulatory Governance Consulting, Sarah held a senior regulatory control change management and quality assurance role at Citi from 2010 to 2018. Previously she held a senior regulatory change management position at Barclays Capital Securities and before that held roles at Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale.

Wayne Green, Joint Managing Director of the Marlborough Group, said: “The selection process has been a lengthy one because we were determined to appoint genuinely independent non-executive directors who were new to the group.

“We wanted individuals with the skills and experience to bring fresh insights and perspectives and who would be more than comfortable challenging our thinking whenever necessary.

“With Sarah’s appointment we are confident that we now have the right combination of expertise in the areas of regulation and governance, investor representation and investment management. Sarah’s skills complement those of Guy and David and these three experienced professionals will, we believe, provide exactly the sort of input and challenge that investors and the regulator would expect from independent non-executive directors.”

Sarah said: “There’s a deep-seated commitment across the Marlborough Group to putting investors’ best interests first and providing a consistently high-quality service, which is very much in tune with my own values.

“One of the other great strengths of the group is the way it hangs on to talented people at all levels and I’m very pleased to join what are already strong boards with a real depth of expertise and experience in the funds industry.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Malcolm Jones
Bulletin
malcolm.jones@bulletin.co.uk
0115 907 8412
07984 700030

Nathan Glynn
Associate Director – Marketing
Marlborough Fund Managers
nathan.glynn@marlboroughfunds.com
01204 545592
www.marlboroughfunds.com

Notes for Editors:

Marlborough Fund Managers and IFSL Fund Services are part of the Marlborough Group, which has just over £10 billion of assets under management, and also includes Marlborough Investment Management, Marlborough International Management and IFSL International.

Marlborough Fund Managers was established in 1986 and offers a range of 18 funds investing in: UK Equities, UK Fixed Interest, Global Fixed Interest, Mixed Assets, International Equities, Funds of Funds and Funds of Exchange Traded Funds. Marlborough Fund Managers is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

IFSL Fund Services acts as an Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) providing fund hosting services for independent financial advisers, wealth managers and other regulated organisations in the financial services sector. IFSL is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. www.ifslfunds.com

Download PDF

Key Questions when choosing an independent ACD

By Wayne Green, Joint Managing Director of IFSL Fund Services

The role of the independent Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) has never been more important.

Independent ACD companies work with wealth managers, investment boutiques and other businesses and make it possible for them to sponsor their own funds using the open-ended investment company (OEIC) structure.

The ACD does this by taking on legal and regulatory responsibility for the fund, while the fund’s ‘sponsor’ concentrates on distribution and in many cases the investment management role.

Anyone familiar with the FCA’s expectations of the ACD role and the need to protect investor interests will understand the levels of expertise and resources necessary to properly fulfil such an important fiduciary duty. There is no doubt too that scrutiny of the role will increase, particularly in light of the regulator’s Asset Management Market Study.

The list of ACD responsibilities is a lengthy one, including compliance and governance, fund accounting, transfer agency, tax reporting, eligibility of assets, platform agreements, data provision, risk management and liquidity monitoring.

Wave of new regulation

At the same time, a wave of new regulatory requirements are coming into force and the ACD has an essential role in ensuring fund sponsors understand these and implement the necessary actions. This is why the role of the ACD has never been more important and it is vital for businesses to ensure they are working with the right one.

MiFID II, which comes into effect in January, is currently at the forefront of many minds in the funds industry. It has significant implications for funds and ACDs, in areas such as product governance, identification of target markets, disclosure of costs and charges, differentiating complex/non-complex products and payment for external investment research.

Meanwhile though, another set of EU regulations, Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPS) will also bring additional responsibilities. The list does not stop there, of course. The FCA’s Asset Management Market Study will set requirements for the number of non-executive directors on the boards of ACD companies, CASS rules on client assets require interpretation and action, and the new General Data Protection Regulation requirements, which come into effect in May, will have significant implications for any business holding data about individuals.

Fund sponsors will want to ensure their ACD is more than able to meet the challenge of handling this level of regulatory change. However, understanding the capabilities of different companies and how they compare can be complex. Some will perform all ACD duties in-house, others will outsource responsibilities such as transfer agency and fund accounting.

Key questions to ask an independent ACD

To allow meaningful comparison, there are a number of key questions to ask about ACD service providers:

• Perhaps most pressingly, given the scale and pace of regulatory change, what resources and expertise do they have to ensure they can keep track of new requirements, interpret them and implement all the necessary changes? Will client companies face additional charges for this?

• Can they keep up with the growth aspirations of your business? For example are their fund accounting and transfer agency systems scalable and can they meet capital adequacy requirements as you grow your assets?

• What expertise do they have in the operation and management of collective investments? Do they carry out all functions in-house? If services are outsourced do they have the expertise to robustly oversee their service providers?

• How financially strong are they? Do they have sufficient cash or public indemnity insurance to cover potential liabilities arising from errors?

• Will the ACD firm’s culture provide a good fit with your own organisation? How will the ACD’s team interact with your firm and help you to grow and understand the commercial and regulatory world of collective investment schemes?

• Finally, and very tellingly, based on what you know about this ACD business, would you invest in it?

Different models of independent ACD business will work for different companies, but we believe asking these questions will help a business make an informed choice.

Providing such a complex service requires expertise, resources and scalability, and the sensible approach when selecting an independent ACD is to base the decision on value rather than cost. It is perhaps worth considering why clients chose your firm to manage their investments and asking yourself whether your choice of independent ACD should be based on similar criteria.

To view a PDF of this article click here

A version of this article first appeared in the December 2017 issue of Portfolio Adviser magazine

Is unitisation right for your client portfolios?

By Martin Ratcliffe, Associate Director – Business Development at IFSL Fund Services

An increasing number of wealth managers and discretionary fund managers are recognising the benefits of unitising client portfolios into a fund structure. There are a number of advantages for the client, including tax benefits, and for the business, including operational cost savings.

It is not, however, the right answer for everyone and there are a number of key questions that those running a business should address when they are considering the idea.

The first step is to weigh up the benefits and make certain it is the most suitable option for your clients. This includes considering existing alternatives in the marketplace.

Level of assets

The next question is what level of assets would you be unitising? The size of the fund from day one is important. In our eyes, a business needs to have a collective minimum of £150m-£250m in investors’ portfolios to make an Open Ended Investment Company (OEIC) structure a viable option. Below that, the fixed or minimum costs that come with running a fund, such as depositary and auditor’s fees, will have an inordinate effect on portfolio performance. While a fund with a much lower overall figure may still be viable, we believe a higher level of assets helps ensure a healthy start.

Within the OEIC, the assets in each of the different risk-graded portfolios will in many cases become an individual sub-fund. We would suggest around £25m as an appropriate starting level of assets to make each sub-fund viable. Where that level of assets is not available or when a business requires a greater number of risk-profile options, blending sub-funds can increase the number of risk-profile options without requiring a separate sub-fund for each.

Nature of holdings

The nature of the assets in client portfolios is another important consideration. Liquidity is one of the advantages of a fund structure. However, UCITS regulations mean some more specialist or illiquid assets cannot be held in a fund. Direct investments in property or gold are not eligible, for example.

Where a business is offering clients highly bespoke portfolios that include assets not eligible for a fund structure, or those that are individual to them – for example shares in a particular company they have an association with – then there is the option for these to be held separately, alongside unitised portfolio holdings. Unitisation should not be about forcing investors into narrower asset universes; it is about creating efficiencies that, where appropriate, will benefit them.

If, having considered such questions, unitisation still looks an attractive option, the benefits for your clients and your business can be considerable.

Tax benefits

Unlike transactions in an individual portfolio, the buying and selling of assets within a fund structure are not liable for Capital Gains Tax. So rebalancing the portfolio does not trigger a CGT event. That only comes when the client sells their investment. This not only reduces the administrative burden for the client and your business, it allows for effective tax planning. Similarly, while investment management fees for segregated portfolios are liable to VAT, those on assets in a fund structure are not. In addition, the client benefits from the regulation associated with funds, the independent governance of a good Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) and from transparent, published performance.

Operational efficiencies

Companies benefit from reduced administrative costs, efficiencies from rebalancing a single sub-fund rather than a large number of individual portfolios and the opportunity to market funds to a wider audience, potentially adding value to their business. Unitised portfolios also dovetail effectively with robo-advice, providing clearly defined, consistent and cost-effective investment solutions that can be made available to individual investors with comparatively small overall portfolios.

One traditional objection to unitisation is clients no longer feel they have their own portfolio. However some propositions now offer a ‘look-through’ facility, so investors can view their exposure to all the underlying holdings in the fund.

While unitisation will not be the solution for everyone, for many there are significant advantages, particularly now the costs of operating a fund and having it hosted on a full-service online platform need be no more than those associated with running segregated portfolios.

A version of this article first appeared in the June 2017 issue of Portfolio Adviser.

Guy Sears to further strengthen ‘independent voice’ on Marlborough and IFSL boards

Guy Sears, former Interim CEO of the Investment Association, has been appointed as a non-executive director of two Marlborough group companies: Marlborough Fund Managers and IFSL.

His role will be to further strengthen the independent voice on both boards, underlining the commitment of the two privately owned companies to ensuring that investors’ best interests continue to be central to their decision-making processes.

Marlborough Fund Managers is an asset manager operating a range of 19 funds and IFSL provides Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) and fund administration services for wealth managers, investment managers and other regulated companies.

Wayne Green, Joint Managing Director of IFSL, said: “Guy shares our commitment to ensuring that investors’ best interests are at the very heart of what we do as a business, so he was a natural choice to join the board.

“With his energy and in-depth knowledge of the funds industry, I have no doubt he will make a valuable contribution as a non-executive director, providing an important independent perspective as we continue to grow.”

Guy Sears said: “The commitment shared by Marlborough and IFSL to providing their clients with a quality service at a fair price is very much in tune with my own values and I look forward to joining what are already strong boards with extensive fund industry expertise.”

Guy was Interim CEO of the Investment Association from October 2015 to September 2016, having held senior positions with the organisation since 2007.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Malcolm Jones Bulletin PR malcolm.jones@bulletin.co.uk
0115 907 8412 07984 700030

Nathan Glynn
Associate Director – Marketing
Marlborough Fund Managers
nathan.glynn@ifslfunds.com 01204 545592

Notes for Editors:

Marlborough Fund Managers was established in 1986 and offers a range of 19 funds investing in: UK Fixed Interest, Global Fixed Interest, Equity and Bonds, UK Equities, International Equities, Fund of Funds and Fund of Exchange Traded Funds. Marlborough Fund Managers is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Investment Fund Services Limited (IFSL) acts as an Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) providing fund hosting services for independent financial advisers, wealth managers and other regulated organisations in the financial services sector. IFSL is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Marlborough Fund Managers and IFSL are both part of the Marlborough group of companies, which has assets under management in excess of £8 billion.

IFSL partners with Hubwise to provide ‘full fund-hosting solution’ for wealth managers and DFMs

IFSL has formed a strategic partnership with technology business Hubwise to launch a new service to make it simpler for wealth managers, discretionary fund managers and IFAs to convert segregated client portfolios to an OEIC fund structure.

Integrating IFSL’s Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) and fund administration services with Hubwise’s online fund platform is designed to remove hurdles that have previously deterred businesses from unitising their client portfolios.

Martin Ratcliffe, Business and Strategic Development Consultant at IFSL, said: “There are significant benefits for businesses and their clients when they use an OEIC fund structure as an umbrella to shelter individual portfolios. These include tax advantages and reduced administrative costs.

“What we often hear is that wealth managers, DFMs and larger IFA companies recognise these benefits but are deterred by the perceived complexities and cost of the process. What our service does is to remove those hurdles, as well as providing a daily ‘look through’ facility for investors to view their underlying investments.

“By combining our quality ACD and fund administration services with Hubwise’s technology we’re providing a comprehensive service, with an expert team guiding our clients through every aspect of launching and operating a fund, together with a high-quality full-service platform to host it on the web. It’s a full fund-hosting solution.”

Wayne Green, Managing Director of IFSL, said: “We’re very proud of the reputation IFSL has built as a leading provider of ACD and fund administration services. Our strategic partnership with Hubwise increases the breadth of our service and, we believe, marks the start of a significant new chapter in the growth of IFSL.”

Angus Macdonald, CEO of Hubwise, said: “We’re two businesses serving the same market, with complementary expertise and a shared commitment to providing a first-class service, so there’s a clear logic in working together. By integrating our two different areas of expertise in a single offering, we are creating what we believe to be a market-leading proposition.”

The benefits of unitising portfolios into an OEIC fund structure include:

For clients
• No Capital Gains Tax on transactions within the fund
• No VAT on investment management fees
• Strong regulation of OEIC products
• Transparent, published performance

For businesses
• Reduced administrative costs
• Simplified model for efficient rebalancing of portfolios
• Consolidation of operations such as dealing
• Increased distribution opportunities
• Adding value to your business

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Malcolm Jones, Bulletin PR
malcolm.jones@bulletin.co.uk 0115 907 8412 or 07984 700030

Notes for Editors

Hubwise Securities is a technology business developed by a group of highly experienced financial services industry professionals – including stockbroking and clearing service CEOs, IFAs, clearing and settlement system authors, and the COO of a large back-office offering – all of whom were inspired to develop an intuitive and comprehensive platform for the IFA and investment communities. Hubwise is authorised and regulated by the FCA. www.hubwise.co.uk