Whitechurch Blog: What is a Discretionary Fund Manager (DFM)?

9th April 2021

DFM’s are professional investment managers that build a portfolio of investment funds, usually from across the market. Generally, various risk portfolios are built, then financial advisers match client risk and objectives with a corresponding portfolio. The DFM will continue to make ongoing decisions on behalf of investors using their own discretion to ensure the portfolio remains within the set remit.

The alternatives to DFM portfolios are advisory portfolios, which are mostly reactionary to changes in the market, or you manage the portfolio yourself. These approaches can be successful, but with 3500 funds to choose from, over time they can often become unbalanced in regards to their asset allocation and risk profile. Discretionary Fund Managed portfolios can be suitable even for smaller portfolios with a number of low cost options available. An additional advantage is that it is possible to hold Discretionary Fund Managed investments within your ISA.

A DFM will...

  • Have a team of portfolio managers to research and monitor investment funds, ensuring that portfolios remain suitably invested. They are experts in their field and aim to maximise the returns within the risk level and investment objectives of the portfolios.
  • DFM’s constantly monitor asset allocation and adjust appropriately according to market conditions. This is a key benefit over advisory portfolios where any changes may have to wait until the next review date, which is sometimes only once or twice a year
  • Continually review and analyse the investments within the selected strategy as well as carrying out due diligence on alternative funds dependent upon market and economic conditions
  • Keep investments on track within the agreed level of risk and investment objectives. If a particular fund or asset class performs badly or erratically, a DFM can quickly change their approach on behalf of its investors
  • Manage risk within portfolios by monitoring and taking advantage of changing economic conditions
  • Protect wealth through diversification. Portfolios typically contain 12-15 funds from several different fund managers, often 8-10 at a time. This avoids potentially devastating consequences that could arise from being dependent upon one investment house or sector
  • Have access to information and funds not readily available to private investors and can access funds at prices often not available to individuals


What can Whitechurch Securities DFM offer?

For over 20 years, Whitechurch Securities Ltd has operated with a dedicated team of investment managers who offer actively managed investment portfolios. They can continually review and analyse investment funds within the risk rated portfolios with a view to achieving competitive returns whilst at the same time ensuring the portfolio remains appropriate and within the set risk parameters.
The Whitechurch Investment Team has access to top fund managers; this provides exposure to experts and helps the team identify emerging trends early. Whitechurch has no in-house funds, is not affiliated with any other institutions and will not receive commission from underlying investments. They will aim to invest in institutional share classes that have lower fees than funds usually available to retail investors.
In a constantly changing environment Whitechurch believes it is essential to pro-actively manage investments and take the necessary action to optimise investment portfolios to suit investors. It is imperative to be constantly aware of key performance drivers such as asset allocation, market movements, economic environment, changes in investment style and fund manager changes. Through increasing diversification, Whitechurch investment managers can spread risk through the use of different asset classes, geographical areas, investment styles, fund managers and financial institutions.
If you think a DFM may be for you, get in touch with your adviser today.


Important Notes: This publication is approved by Whitechurch Securities Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. All contents of this publication are correct at the date of printing. We have made great efforts to ensure the accuracy of the information provided and do not accept responsibility for errors or omissions. This publication is intended to provide helpful information of a general nature and is not a specific recommendation to invest. The contents may not be suitable for everyone. We recommend you take professional advice before entering into any obligations or transactions. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Investment returns cannot be guaranteed and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The stockmarket should not be considered as a suitable place for short-term investments. Levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change and values depend on the circumstances of the investor.

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Whitechurch Securities Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register No. 114318.

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