Our approach to asset allocation and diversification is based on one simple insight. No one asset class or style always outperforms. Because of this we consider the full range of investment solutions when building your portfolio.
As part of our investment process, we engage multiple independent, world-class investment managers to provide us access to asset classes outside of our normal scope. We do this for a number of reasons, including:
- Ability to customize products and investment solutions that will meet your unique needs.
- Actively manage asset allocation and investment styles to suit forecasted market expectations. This allows us to position the portfolio for what is to come, not what has happened.
- Gives us access to best in class Third Party Managers.
- Some markets are better served with a manager vs. an index fund / individual stocks.
- Allows us to better manage the impact of currency.
- RBC supports governance and oversight.
- Simplified and customized reporting on a consolidated basis.
- Performance is objective and easy to measure.
When choosing firms to partner with, we follow a rigorous due diligence process, continually evaluating our submanagers to ensure those who we partner with are of the highest quality. We choose these mandates through a detailed, ongoing process:
We diversify across firms as we strongly believe that no money manager does everything well. Twice a year we sit down with our partners and potential partners to review their top solutions and evaluate their firm culture based on the following metrics:
- Multi-Factor Analysis, Absolute & Relative, Style & Attribution Analysis, Focus on Long-Term
Firm & Product:
- Ownership Structure, History of Firm/Product, Leadership/Culture, Asset Growth/Capacity, Viability
- Experience/Tenure, Incentive Structures, Ownership Eligibility, Succession Planning, Professional Turnover
- Philosophy/Process, Idea Generation, Research Capabilities, Buy/Sell Discipline, Final Decision Maker
Through the due diligence process above, we have narrowed our business to nine individual submanagers across all our models. This number can vary slightly depending on where we are in the business cycle.
On top of the nine we have in our models, we also have a “watch list” of no more than 20 funds that get metric’ed the same way as our model funds. This watchlist is designed to be the “farm team” for the incumbents and is continually “weeded” through the due diligence/review processes. In the event that a model mandate needs to change, it is replaced by one on the watchlist.
The manager portfolio weights depend on the asset class and geographic region. This asset allocation is done by our portfolio managers, Vito Finucci and Eric Janitis.
We evaluate all of our submanagers quarterly based on a proprietary team rating scale.
- This system takes into consideration:
- Performance vs. both benchmark and peers. It is weighted to focus on the medium-long term numbers.
- Consistency, absolute returns and upside-down capture.
- A variety of qualitative metrics.
- Green is good, yellow we watch, red we fire.
- If one of the model managers falls into yellow for more than 6 months, we put out a RFP (request for proposal) for the watchlist firms to meet with us where we decide if we are going to make a change.
- Should we decide to make a move, changes are quick as our technology allows us to move in or out of mandates in bulk.