Q&A

Why choose an Independent Asset Manager like ISGAM?

1. Independence of the banks
2. Open architecture with institutional-class investments
3. Stability within the company
4. Transparency of fees

Will I pay more by having a custodian and an independent asset manager like ISGAM?

In many cases you will pay less.  Private bank charging strategies vary enormously. ISGAM’s fees are completely transparent, wherever they exist ISGAM uses the less expensive classes of fund investment and we have negotiated very competitive all-in-fee arrangements with our key European and Asian custodians.

Where are the client´s assets held?

The client´s assets are held in the name of the client, in an account at a reliable and stable bank, broker or insurance company.

Can the client choose in which country their account is based?

Yes, but this is usually decided after dialogue with your ISGAM relationship manager, to make sure it suits your future financial requirements. ISGAM has several custodian relationships that have been in place for many years, including in Switzerland, the U.K., Singapore and the USA.

Does the client need to sell their current portfolio to work with ISGAM?

No. The client can retain the portfolio in full. Once ISGAM has been appointed as the investment manager, the client’s advisor and portfolio manager will have a discussion with the client about the timing over which to bring the portfolio into line with the agreed strategy or strategies outlined in the Portfolio Management Agreement.

Does the client need to transfer their assets to a new custodian for ISGAM to manage them?

ISGAM can work with any custodian bank, broker or insurance company. It is however time consuming for ISGAM to negotiate and manage an additional custodian relationship so a satisfactory business case will be needed before this can proceed.

How do clients access their account?

Clients always have the option of online access to their accounts with the custodian. In addition, a client can also access details of their accounts via their ISGAM relationship manager.

What reporting can a client expect to receive?

Clients receive from ISGAM quarterly portfolio management reports by e-mail as well as quarterly valuations by e-mail or by post. In addition, the custodian will offer valuations online and/or send regular account statements including in most cases a tax report at year end, either by post or e-mail.

Who can withdraw assets, including cash or make payments from the client´s account?

Only the client. ISGAM cannot. ISGAM only has the authority to buy and sell investments on behalf of the client. This is usually established via the joint signing by the client and ISGAM of the custodian’s ‘Limited Power of Attorney’ or equivalent. ISGAM has the authority only to be paid its management fees from the account as per the signed.

What determines how a client´s assets are managed?

At the beginning of a new relationship a Portfolio Management Agreement and Investor Profile are completed and signed by the client and ISGAM. This is a contract between the client and ISGAM and determines how the assets are to be managed and what fees ISGAM can charge for doing so.

Can a client cancel the Portfolio Management Agreement and thus revoke ISGAM´s power to manage their assets?

Yes.  As it says in the portfolio management agreement, either party can terminate its relationship with the other with a month’s notice.

How much does ISGAM charge for its services?

Our portfolio management fees range from 0.75% to 2%, depending on the size of the portfolio. An initial fee of between 0.25% and 3% can be applied based on the complexities of setting up a new relationship. All percentage fee calculations are based on the assets under management.

All fees are clearly explained at the outset of a new relationship and are agreed and acknowledged in the Portfolio Management Agreement.

How is ISGAM remunerated?

IGSAM is an independent asset manager and only receives income by way of client management fees and where applicable initial fees. These fees are clearly outlined in the Portfolio Management Agreement, which represents a contract between ISGAM and the client.

Is there a charge for a first meeting?

There is no charge for a first meeting, which can be in person, by video conferencing or phone. The purpose of the initial meeting is to help the client´s advisor determine if ISGAM can assist and then how and if it makes sense for the client to enter into a relationship.

What are the custodian fees?

The custodian bank, broker or insurance company charge a reduced service fee for the custody of cash and securities as well as settling transactions, also known as brokerage. ISGAM pass on the benefit of having long established relationships with leading custodians by securing all-in fee models ranging from 0.25% to 0.50%, depending on which custodian the client chooses and the size of their account. However, for clients who wish to use our broker in the U.S. they do not face any custodian fees, only transaction cost of less than USD 10 per transaction.

Can ISGAM offer a single-strategy solution?

Each of the model portfolios or building blocks that ISGAM have developed over the past 30 years can also be made available to clients as a single-strategy solution. For example, if a current provider has a subpar alternative strategy offering, then it is possible to utilise ISGAM´s alternative portfolio.

Can ISGAM offer credit facilities?

Only via the chosen custodian banks.  ISGAM has negotiated preferential borrowing rates with most of its custodians at low to zero cost to the client.  This can involve borrowing against the account as well as credit cards.  ISGAM alone cannot lend as it does not hold client assets