Group awaits regulatory clearance before unveiling its unit trusts and Oeics
US multi-manager firm SEI is awaiting regulatory approval to launch three unit trusts and three Dublin-based Oeic funds for the UK retail market.
The unit trusts from SEI, which has around $72bn under management in the US, will be based around global growth, balanced and income strategies targeting higher net worth individuals.
These will invest in sub-funds in the Dublin-based Oeics, each of which will contain portfolios managed by external managers under mandates dictated directly by SEI.
Simon Ewan, SEI's director of the European adviser market, said that the group was awaiting regulatory clearance from the Bank of Ireland and will then file for FSA recognition.
Regulatory approval is also pending on the three unit trusts, for unit trust manager status for SEI and for an extension of permitted terms to allow SEI to market to intermediaries. Ewan hopes that regulatory approval will be granted within the next two weeks.
The unit trusts will have a minimum investment of £25,000 and will charge a 1% initial charge with optional IFA commission of up to 3%. The annual management charge is 1.85%, although that includes all underlying charges.
A bespoke service is available for investors with a minimum of £100,000 to invest.
SEI's multi-manager is different to fund of funds products from groups like Rothschild Asset Management, Jupiter, Lazards, Friends Ivory & Sime and Hendersons in that it hires asset managers to run its assets under mandates that it dictates.
SEI will also specify the fund manager teams within an organisation that it wants to manage its funds and can split mandates, using one manager to asset allocate between sectors, if they have demonstrated a superior track record, and another to stock pick.
This approach, which is backed up by a large team of analysts monitoring funds globally, also brings a lower cost base, according to SEI as it does not have to purchase funds.
The product line will be an extension of the US offering from the group using the same management teams which are selected on a global and not national basis. In the US sector, for example, SEI uses nine external managers that run an aggregate portfolio, on which SEI monitors every transaction, which has a lower tracking error than average but with higher capital growth potential.
Currently, the tracking error on the portfolio of assets in the US sector is 3.6%, compared to an average in the US funds sector of 6.72%. All the portfolios SEI manages are also style neutral.
SEI has more than 100 investment analysts who are split into geographic teams to monitor asset managers globally, giving it a larger pool of managers to select from than is the case for a UK-focused fund of funds manager. Ewan said that globally the group monitors around 55,000 funds, including not only retail but institutional offerings.
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