North Investment Partners' CEO John Husselbee talks to Clare Dickinson about how the company uses a mixture of passive products and active management to create returns
Tell me about North Investment Partners.
We started North in the summer of 2005; when I say ‘we’ that was myself and Rebecca Murphy. We had worked together at Henderson Global Investors and Rothschild, managing multi-manager [funds] for retail clients. I spent 10 years at Henderson’s building their multi-manager range and previous to that at Rothschild’s in a similar role.
We felt that there was an opportunity (with multi-management in particular) to launch a company for ourselves and build a business for ourselves. We felt it became an established industry, an industry where we felt there were winners and losers and you either had to very big or small and niche. We set up North Investment Partners to work in partnerships with distributors; that could be IFAs, asset managers, family offices or charities, they could be a whole range of different types of clients. Right from day one we were setting up bespoke investment solutions.
How has the business developed?
We currently have just over £450mn of assets under our discretion. These days we would refer to ourselves as a discretionary manager which uses multi-manager in terms of its investment process: multi-asset and multi-manager.
Our portfolios are mainly funds of funds, although at the beginning of the year we launched a discretionary management service. We have two clients up and operating and we have £25mn on board already.
We are very pleased with the growth of the business and that has been accelerated by (and we believe it will continue to be accelerated by) RDR. We believe intermediaries – the IFA market in particular – will continue to outsource their investment management.
How do you use ETFs at North?
Our portfolios are a mix of equities, fixed interest, property and non-traditional asset classes such as commodities, hedge funds and private equity. We are paid on our ability to outperform benchmarks and markets; we do that in three ways: asset allocation, market timing and fund selection. ETFs play a part in all three of those.
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