Like other investment managers claiming to be active in the charity sector, we took the opportunity to submit data to this year's Charity Fund Management Survey, organised by Charity Finance magazine (arguably the leading finance oriented publication in the third sector). Apart from submitting basic data on the level and depth of products and services offered to charities, contributors are asked to quote the cost, on a like-for-like basis, of managing various standard sizes of portfolio, with identical mixes of assets. The results were quite revealing. Of note to us was the fact that we seem to have slipped in to the third quartile (fee wise at least!). Also revealing was the reluctance of many contributors to quote a fee for smaller fund sizes (i.e., £1m and £5m). Our conclusion is that, for the size of charity portfolios we typically manage and are asked to provide proposals to manage, we seem to charge less than the typical going rate. Not only that, but we are actually not only prepare to manage but positively embrace managing portfolios of between £1m and £5m. This type of survey of course comes with a range of caveats but it seems to us to be the best attempt so far to provide charities with an independent assessment of the "going rate". Existing clients have no need to panic - we have no current plans to increase fees! However, it may help to provide another reason why those considering using our services in future can do so with confidence.
If you would like an electronic copy of this year's survey please email me and I'll send one by return. Charity Finance have kindly given us permission to reproduce the survey on this basis.