There is a wide spectrum of quality and depth of capability in asset management, as in financial services generally. In the ‘premier league’ of investing, the main beneficiaries, in addition to clients, are the asset manages themselves.

The client spectrum is sorted by size, direct knowledge and influence. Starting at the ‘top of the mountain’, hedge fund, private equity and proprietary managers 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 ‘SWF’s; large public pension funds; insurance companies; corporate and municipal Pension funds; and collective private pension plans.

Next are individual, ‘consumer’ investors. They may be advised, as clients of a private banks or established wealth managers, or they may be self-directed. Self-directed investors rely 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. Some top-tier investors are paying private equity, venture capital and hedge funds the highest fees of all, but relative to their excess returns, they can afford it.

Within the above lie smaller Pension Funds, Endowments, Foundations & Charities. Their access to the best quality of advice can be quite limited by resources, 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.