The core of portfolio management
A strong investment process delivers consistent investment returns over a full business cycle. It must be able to withstand staff changes in the investment team. It should reflect the investment philosophy.
Many investors focus primarily on the short-term returns produced by their investment managers. That is entirely acceptable if the investment horizon is short.
For investors with a longer time horizon, it is important the investment manager has a strong investment process.
For the manager of an investment team a strong investment process is equally important – for the same reasons, and then some.
It is always a good idea to proof an investment team against defections of key members of the team.
With a strong and well documented investment process, it is much easier to find replacements for those who left. It is also easier to retain clients, if they understand that the loss of staff is not detrimental.
The management of an investment firm will always approve of a well-documented investment process. So will the compliance manager and the risk officer. Not to mention the sales staff, product specialists and the RFP and reporting teams.
If you are an Investment Oversight Officer with a Fund Manager, you simply need to have the investment processes described. It is not just required by regulation. It is also an essential part of the operational risk management of the Fund Manager.
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Did you ever try this?
Are you a professional asset manager, responsible for a team of investment professionals. Then you have in all likelihood experienced a period where your investment outcome was unsatisfactory (trust us, we know the feeling).
Your customers complain, the customer relationship managers complain, the boss is moody and soon maybe even board members are beginning to question you. Not nice.
While keeping the stakeholders at a safe distance, you need to find out what is going on.
It is time to be honest with yourself and find out what is wrong. There really are not that many possibilities:
Obviously, you would prefer to be in the upper right corner. But what if you are in the lower right corner? You just get what you have prepared for? You may even have to accept that your good results in the past were dumb luck.
In order to find out what is wrong, it is time to have your investment process documented. You need to know if you have a good or a bad process.
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