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The hands-off approach

Sharebrokers J B Were have launched a discretionary portfolio management service along with a unit trust for its clients who don't want to take a hands-on role with their investments.

Monday, November 30th 1998, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

Sharebrokers J B Were have launched a discretionary portfolio management service along with a unit trust for its clients who don't want to take a hands-on role with their investments.
The service allows people to own shares and other assets in their own name, but not actually have to worry about managing the portfolio.
Instead investors sign over management of their portfolio to JB Were Portfolio Management, which is run by Slade Robertson and former Southpac Investment manager Peter Johnston.

While individuals own the assets they are held in custody by Trustees Executors.
Investors have the choice of using one of three recommended portfolios (Trans-Tasman Equities, New Zealand Fixed Interest and International Equities) or a combination of them.
The Trans-Tasman portfolio consists of passive and actively managed elements. The majority are long-term holdings in directly held shares, while the active portion (about 30 per cent) is invested in the actively managed J B Were Trans-Tasman Equity Trust.
The fixed interest portfolio is actively managed with the aim of enhancing yield and overall return, while the International Equity portfolio is structured to retain the tax benefits associated with direct investment.
Head of client services Guy Hedley says the portfolio management service was established to provide a higher level of service to customers than brokers would traditionally be able to provide.
He says one of the problems for a firm like J B Were, which has a large retail client base, is that it's impossible to find enough good quality brokers to service the customer base. On top of that sharebroking tends to volume driven rather than service driven.
Hedley says with the discretionary portfolio management service investors can get good service, also investors are buying the house view on stocks, as opposed to an individual broker's view.
Hedley says investors should take comfort from that considering J B Were has a strong reputation for the quality of its research.
Besides the discretionary portfolio service J B Were runs its non-discretionary PIPS service which is designed for investors who actually want to make investment decisions.
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