Advice firm Timothy James & Partners (TJP) has hired Fundhouse as an independent investment partner to advise on all aspects of its investment process and fund selection.
TJP said it hired the fund ratings and research firm due to its independent business model.
Fundhouse describes itself as the only fund research firm not to receive fees from the fund managers they rate, instead asking advisers to pay for its service. It was also the only firm regulated for fund research, it said.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) highlighted in its Asset Management Study, published in November 2016, the conflicts of interest within fund ratings business models, in being subsidised by the asset managers they rate. It warned this posed a potential lack of added value.
TJP managing director Tim Whiting said: "Our commitment to independence ties into the Fundhouse model. The service is quite exclusive, without any conflicts of interest. This, in turn, enhances our proven ability to make long term investment decisions."
Fundhouse managing director Rory Maguire (pictured) added: "Putting principle before profit is central to our business model and IFA engagement is crucial to our future as a firm, so it's good to show the market that advisers are willing to pay for our services."
Maguire said its independence and impartiality was demonstrated by the fact it not only offered positive but also a significant number of negative ratings, with a third of its rated funds currently being rated negative.
He added: "With the issues raised by the regulator about rating conflicts and advisers taking on our services, it suggests to us a shift in the ratings zeitgeist. In 18 months' time, we might see a very different fund ratings landscape."
TJP was named highly commended for Adviser Firm of the Year- London, while Fundhouse was awarded winner of the Best Ratings/Research Service for Advisers at the 2017 Professional Adviser Awards.
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