There is a wide spectrum of quality and depth of coverage in asset management, and financial services generally. In the ‘premier league’ of investing, the main beneficiaries are…well, the asset managers themselves, and their associates.

The spectrum of clients can be thought of being sorted roughly by size, direct knowledge and influence. Starting at the ‘top’, hedge fund, private equity and proprietary managers themselves have the greatest access to investments and returns, managing their own capital.

Following these are a range of ‘professional investors’. these include sovereign or quasi-sovereign pools of capital, the ‘SWFs’; large Public Pension funds (think Canadian Pension Funds; CALPERs, etc.); Insurance Companies; Corporate and Municipal Pension funds; and Private Pension plans (401k, DB, DC).

Next in the pecking order are individual, ‘consumer’ investors. They may be well advised, as clients of a Private Bank or established Wealth Manager, or they may be primarily self-directed. Very often they will be self-managers, relying on advertised ‘advice’ or recommendations.

It will be no surprise that the services available tend to decline in quality and range, and increase in pro-rata price, as one goes down the spectrum. Of course, some top-tier investors are paying PE and HF firms the highest fees of all, but relative to their excess returns, they can afford it!

Somewhere in the range above, lie smaller Pension Funds, Endowments, Foundations & Charities. Their access to the best quality of advice can be quite limited by their resources and contacts, or size.

Arguably though, they are in the greatest need of the best available advice. They are usually agents, managing other people’s money. That money is often bequeathed or donated, often for a highly-valued good cause. The trustees or governing boards of these groups may have limited professional financial experience.

LIO seeks to bring top-tier advice and management to this group of investors.