Ashburton introduces Advanced Portfolio range of funds

Ashburton has launched its Advanced Portfolio range of funds. The Jersey-domiciled Oeics are designed to replicate the firm’s discretionary Advanced Portfolio Service. The funds have a minimum requirement of $100,000 (54,000) and the initial offer period, which opened on May 15, runs until June 19.

Three funds – Lower Risk, Moderate Risk and Higher Risk – invest in an actively managed portfolio of cash, bonds, equities and alternative asset classes. The alternative category includes property, commodities, hedge funds and the use of derivatives. But the definition is being kept open, says Stephen Kearns, product development director at Ashburton. “There is space for the investment managers to be creative,” he says. “These days, the financial world is very good at finding the next new asset class. We could hold private equity, for example.”

Asset classes are held in varying proportions, depending on the strategy selected. Lower Risk aims for moderate capital growth with low volatility, using a defensive strategy. A maximum of 100% can be held in cash or bonds, with 30% in equities or hedge funds, 15% in alternative assets and 50% in foreign currency.

At the other end of the scale, Higher Risk aims to generate superior, long-term capital growth with potentially higher volatility, using a focused approach. The fund can hold up to 100% in cash or bonds, 80% in equities, 50% in hedge funds or alternative assets and 100% in foreign currency.

But Kearns expects 60% of clients to invest in the Moderate Risk strategy. The fund is also able to hold up to 100% of assets in cash or bonds. The remaining maximum allocations are 60% in equities, 40% in hedge funds, 30% in alternative assets and 50% in foreign currency. Rebalancing decisions for the funds will be made on a daily basis by the three-strong asset allocation committee, says Kearns. Ultimate responsibility will be taken by Nicholas Lee, director of investment and fund management.

The funds have an initial charge of 5% and commission of 4%. The annual management fee is 1.75% and trail commission is available. Ashburton, which has 1bn in assets, is the fund management division of FirstRand International Asset Management.