Lewis Brownlee Financial Services is a holistic financial planning business, based on the south coast of England. Their focus is to help their clients ascertain what they want to achieve out of life and put a financial plan in place to make that happen, rather than simply selling a range of products. Their clients are firmly at the heart of their process, and it’s this ethos that led them to use our Hybrid and Income portfolios. Chris Page, Director at Lewis Brownlee Financial Services, explains why.
When Chris Page joined Lewis Brownlee in 2013, the company was growing rapidly. At the time they were using model portfolios through their compliance provider, but the process of making any changes to their investment approach became extremely laborious, and it could take up to a month to complete each round of investment reviews.
As a business that wanted to put the client at the heart of the process, not the other way around, this eventually became untenable. Chris said: “We were finding we had less and less time to spend with clients. We wanted to use our expertise where it could make the biggest difference, which meant finding an investment expert with the same values as ourselves to support us.”
They wanted to underpin their advice with a trusted, market leading investment proposition. This would free up valuable time to spend with their clients and ensure their investment proposition was robust.
Chris continued: “We researched the market and spoke with six potential providers. In the end we were drawn to FE Investments because we liked the fact their decisions are based on data - both quantitative and qualitative - and a set methodology. They use modern software, and they are independent of any fund group. We liked their fresh approach to doing things. It felt like a good fit with our business.”
Working with FE Investments
Since moving over to the FE Investments Hybrid and Income portfolios, Lewis Brownlee’s investment reporting has gone from taking nearly a month to complete, to just one week. Chris said:
The process is quicker and more streamlined, and there is less human error from our point of view. On a day-to-day basis, FE Investments are always very responsive to our needs. They don’t try to shoehorn us into their processes. They understand the challenges advisers face and want to find solutions to help our business."
“We particularly like their Hybrid portfolios because our clients don’t need a complicated investment solution. This is simple and clear, and clients can really understand what they are invested in and why. The reporting is also easy to understand, and our clients appreciate the use of visuals and the fact they are not confronted with reams and reams of paper on a regular basis.”
Of course, the bottom line is how well the portfolios have performed, and Lewis Brownlee have been pleased with how their clients’ investments have held up throughout the coronavirus crisis. Chris said: “Despite the sharpest market fall in recent history, our clients’ portfolios have remained in good shape. They have performed exactly as we would have expected. While other investment managers may have dismissed gilts as over-priced and offering little value, their inclusion in our portfolios has been one of the reasons our clients’ investments have navigated this period relatively well. Again, it comes down to the fact they are a risk manager and use data to drive their decisions, and they do not make calls on the direction of markets.”
A partnership built on trust and support
Chris summarised the key benefits of using the Hybrid and Income portfolios: “It’s quite simple. We have outsourced risk and time, and we feel we have an investment partner that understands our business and our challenges. We trust them with our clients’ money, and that is not a decision we could ever take lightly.”
Learn about FE Investments
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