Investor Views: "If my Fund Manager Doesn’t Deliver, I Don’t Pay"

Private investor Bella Bryant-Evans tells Morningstar why she’s considering switching her two Child Trust Funds into Junior ISAs

Emma Simon 10 February, 2016 | 2:29PM
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Bella Briant-Evans is hoping to build a decent nest-egg for each of her three children. The eldest two qualified for a Child Trust Fund, but her youngest son Hugo, who is almost one, didn’t get for the £250 voucher from the government that his siblings had to invest.

Briant-Evans says: “We wanted to give him the same financial start that his brother and sister had. So we’ve opened a Junior ISA on his behalf.”

However, she says she is now considering switching the older Child Trust Funds into JISAs too. “We have found it much easier to manage this new account, and the fund management team seems to have a better track record,” she said.

The JISA is with Orbis Access, which has only recently started offering funds to private investors, although it has managed institutional money for 25 years.

Briant-Evans says they have invested in the company’s Global Equity Fund.

This has a five-star rating from Morningstar, reflecting its strong performance relative to peers. William Gray, the head of the fund management team, gets a coveted Silver Rating reflecting Morningstar analyst’s confidence in his ability to continue to deliver for investors.

Morningstar analyst Lena Tsymbaluk says: “We continue to have a high regard for the fund’s methodical and rigorous investment approach and the strength of the team.” She points out that the fund’s long-term track record is excellent: since launch in Jan 1990 to the end of 2014 the fund has delivered returns of 12.1% a year - outperforming the average fund in its sector by a noteworthy 6.9 percentage points on average each year.

Briant-Evans says she likes the fact that Orbis charges a performance related fee: if the manager doesn’t beat a set benchmark, there are no fees to pay on this investment. “I think this is an excellent idea. It feels like they are working on your behalf; it’s in their interests to make us money,” Briant-Evans said.

Child Trust Funds Underperformed

She says the returns on their older children’s Child Trust Funds have been a little more pedestrian and as a result they are looking to switch.

“When we opened them we simply went to one of the big high street banks and opted for its main equity fund,” she explained. “We have continued to make regular contributions but I think our children’s funds would grow more if we moved them to an alternative fund.”

She added that the administration on the old Child Trust Funds can be a bit of a headache: “We moved house recently and it was a bit of a rigmarole in getting the address changed. The Orbis fund is managed online so we can log on whenever we like. Hopefully by the time my children each reach 18 they will have a decent nest-egg which they can use to either help towards higher education costs, buy their first car or even go travelling."

Private investor Bella Briant-Evans and her son Hugo

“It will be interesting to see how the different accounts have grown. The first one was opened in 2008, and the second in 2010. I don’t know what we will do if one is worth significantly more than the others - perhaps we’ll have to make up the difference.”

Taking Advantage of the Company Pension

Briant-Evans works in the oil industry, and says that both she and her husband have company pensions. They also try to save into ISAs each year. “It depends how much there is to save at the end of the year. I am just going back to work after my maternity leave, and we have moved house recently, so there hasn’t been a lot of space cash at present.”

She says she tends to stick with ‘pretty safe’ funds - which are primarily in UK companies. Over the years she says some of her best investments have been share save schemes that she’s had with previous employers. “I’ve worked for some big companies, so when they offered these I’ve tried to take them up. They have usually worked really well and have enabled us to build some savings towards our own future.”

What funds are in your ISA or SIPP? What have been your most successful investments to date? If you'd like to feature in Investment Views and tell us about your investment strategy please contact the Editorial team on UKEditorial@morningstar.com

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About Author

Emma Simon

Emma Simon  is a financial journalist, specialising in investment and consumer issues, writing for Morningstar.co.uk