Meet Sam Petts, one of our financial planners, who also holds the important role as chairman of the Clarion Investment Committee.
Sam has been an active member on the committee for a few years now but became the chairman earlier this year. Here he tells us about the role of chairman on the committee and what together the six members of the committee do to ensure investments are working at their optimum for Clarion clients.
He said: “The investment committee has a great set of skills and experiences and being chairman is a role that I am enjoying tremendously.
“My role is to make sure everything is on track, working with the Margetts team closely, and making sure we are meeting our obligations. But also, importantly, because we have an equal number on the committee of six, if there is a split decision or vote, I get the final vote on investment strategy.
“We run money on a discretionary basis at Clarion for our clients and we review our asset allocation on the various risk rated funds. We keep on top of the existing investments to make sure they are performing well and adjust our allocation if we see attractive opportunities or if we feel we need to move away from an area of the market we have concerns about, so it is an active management approach.
“We meet formally once a month and the minutes of those meetings are available for our clients on our website. At the moment we have been doing two‐weekly ad hoc Zoom meetings just because the markets are moving around quite a bit with what has been going on in the world.
“We have been pleasantly surprised with how well the investments have been performing during the pandemic. We have seen that some markets have been performing better than others, for example, America, where you have the likes of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Zoom and others – they have been net benefiters through this pandemic. And some of the emerging markets have coped better than some of the European economies.
“The UK market is still quite depressed as there are still some worries overhanging the market, like Brexit. The composition of UK market is also unique, there are a lot of natural resource, and oil stocks listed here. Oil prices have fallen a lot, and this has impacted the overall index.
“There are also a lot of financial services and banking companies listed in the UK so that has probably been holding back that particular part of the index too.
“The Clarion portfolios have a global reach, meaning we can spread investments out well, we are not relying on one particular index or market to get our returns from.
“We have the discretion to make the decisions on investments on our clients’ behalf and we match the risk profile to the risk targeted fund, so it gives us a nimbleness to move quickly if we need to – whether that is to take money off the table and insulate the client’s portfolio or to take advantage of an opportunity in the market.
“The huge benefit of the committee for our clients is that we are constantly watching the underlying investments so it is like having a second pair of eyes monitoring what is going on in the financial markets.”
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