There are not many individuals who look after private clients, their investments, the investments of the rest of their firm’s private clients, a third-party funds team and also have a hand in the design of his firm’s own long-only fund range.
Sarasin & Partner’s Sam Jeffries just happens to be one of them.
Story of the whole
His explanation is: “My job is to distil as best as possible the output of the asset allocation and fund management process of the firm, that I contribute to and participate in, for all of our client portfolios to make sure they are being treated consistently, evenly and appropriately for the risk they are willing to take.”
He describes looking after a book of clients on behalf of the firm as his “primary role” and in his case these are largely international clients, those individuals who are not necessarily domiciled or resident in the UK, nor are they expats.
He emphasises that his clients make up a small proportion of total private client assets that contribute £2bn of assets to the £13bn the firm runs on behalf of charities, private clients, institutions and wholesale/retail businesses.
The investment process is the same irrespective of the client and it is the drivers behind its investment process that makes Sarasin & Partners stand out from the majority of wealth management firms – though, in Jeffries’ words, “Sarasin is not necessarily unusual”.
No super model
He says: “We run genuinely bespoke portfolios but we have a model framework in the background. You don’t come in and invest in model one – that is not what Sarasin is about. We use anchor points not models that are there as an investment tool to aid portfolio construction.”
Jeffries and his colleagues are thematic in the way they think and this shapes the asset allocation and portfolio construction views and processes across the business.
Broadly, there are two stages to how Sarasin thinks about running thematic portfolios.
To find out more, read the full interview in January's issue of Portfolio Adviser, available early next year .