What is your investment philosophy?
We follow a long-term investment philosophy that focuses on value and fundamental analysis. The investment universe is thoroughly screened to compose our portfolios of the highest quality companies. These companies fit specific criteria of profitability, cashflows and earnings growth, leverage and margins that result in higher degrees of stability, and predictability for the businesses. We use our in-house proprietary model to estimate the fair value of each company in our universe to optimise our entry and exit points.
Our valuation model helps us to optimise our portfolio construction not only based on valuation but also on market and company-specific dynamics. By investing across asset classes and grounding investment decisions on value and fundamentals, we can diversify the source of returns and provide our investors with confidence that their portfolios are well equipped to weather short-term volatility across a wide range of economic and market environments.
Probus Middle East Limited has over 40 years’ experience in wealth and institutional asset management and a fully open architecture with privileged access to over 50 banks and brokers. These banking relationships allow us to negotiate preferential fees for our clients. Usually, we do not invest in funds with retrocessions. If we invest in funds with retrocessions, we account for these and share them with clients. Our direct access to international funds and brokers leads to lower costs and the best prices on markets. We have impartial third-party fund selection with no conflict of interest. Our selection is made based on internationally recognised criteria.
What are the drivers behind the growing demand for IAMs in the region?
Firstly, the influx of HNWIs in the region, especially the UAE where the government has opened doors for HNWIs to live a comfortable hassle-free life. Secondly, the region is quickly becoming a hub for innovation driven by entrepreneurship, research and development and flexibility. Thirdly, the international banking network provided by IAMs can help clients secure industry leading services at the best price. Finally, IAMs, such as Probus Middle East Limited, are well equipped to provide strong expertise across many asset classes and regions globally.
What services do you value the most from an intermediary bank?
Probus Middle East Limited favours top tier banks that are well established with a reputable brand name. We prefer banks that have a simplified cost structure and that offer competitive all-in fees for our clients. We look for good quality execution capabilities and responsiveness. A state-of-the-art IT system that matches our infrastructure to feed our database and software (online portal, consolidation system, and portfolio execution system). Finally, having access to their internal research is also highly regarded.
What are the challenges for IAMs in the region?
One challenge is cost pressure. Several trends and factors affecting the asset management industry in recent years have resulted in downward pressure on fees, the rise of passive investment, the increase of competition, access to knowledge, and technology. Understanding of our business model, including prospects sometimes do not comprehend the concept of IAMs. They fail to understand that an IAM is not a bank and that its assets will stay with the custodian of their choice. That could lead to confusion and complicate the onboarding process. Clients want an IAM that looks after their needs without having to worry about the safety of their assets. Building this trust can take years or even decades.
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