Dimensional Fund Advisors, the US asset management firm led in Europe by David Salisbury – the former CEO of Schroders Asset Management -is set to market a range of unit trusts to UK IFAs. Salisbury sees Dimensional’s low-risk, value-added investment approach being popular among the UK’s financial planning community in the current climate of lower investment returns and rising demand for long-term savings vehicles. He has commissioned Communication Skills, run by former Schroders colleague Rod Duncan, to conduct a detailed review of Dimensional ‘s product range with the UK’s senior IFAs.
Founded in 1981, Dimensional takes a systematic approach to investment based on detailed analysis of stock market behaviour rather than of individual stocks. Dimensional manages US$39 billion of institutional and private money from group offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles and Sydney. Dimensional’s stable of more than 30 pooled funds covers smaller company, value stocks and fixed income securities in US, European, Emerging and Global markets. Dimensional’s funds have been hugely successful with US retail investors, with over one third of funds under management coming from financial planners.
David Salisbury worked at Schroders from 1974 to 2001, latterly as Chief Executive. Rod Duncan was Deputy Managing Director and Sales & Marketing Director of Schroder Unit Trusts from its launch in 1988 to 1999. During that time its assets under management grew from less than half a billion pounds to over 18 billion with over 7 billion coming from the IFA sector. Duncan formed Communication Skills in 1999 to offer sales consultancy & training specifically targeted at the financial services industry. It now lists several of the larger mutual fund providers amongst its clients.
David Salisbury, CEO of Dimensional Europe, said:
“We believe that in an era of lower returns and greater risk-consciousness, Dimensional’s structured approach to investment will be hugely attractive to financial advisers and their clients, both of whom want more from their savings than trackers can deliver, but without significant additional risk. We also believe that our smaller-company and value investment expertise should strike a particular chord at present.”
Rod Duncan, Senior Partner of Communications Skills, commented:
“I have seen too many mutual fund companies launch themselves and their product on to an unsuspecting retail market. My aim is to meet with senior financial advisers in the UK to solicit their views on the proposed Dimensional product range. I will then feed back those views to Dimensional so that they deliver what the market wants at launch.”