The use of Managed Portfolio Services (MPS) by advisers continues to grow rapidly. IFA Magazine’s webinars on the subject of MPS have proved to be a popular and valuable resource for advisers to understand the key issues involved. In this article, we bring you a snapshot of the topics covered by experts’ discussions during our last two MPS webinars, and there’s also the chance to catch up on the discussions in full in case you missed them first time around.

For both our latest MPS events, we were grateful to our host, Chris Curtis, from the Business Development team at ARC, for ably chairing both webinars. He ensured that the format was conversational enough to allow our esteemed panellists to dig deep into the nitty-gritty of the factors driving successful MPS strategies in today’s complex market conditions.

Finding knowledge and integrity in MPS

Looking back to our July webinar themed as above, we were grateful to our panellists including Neil Blankstone, Managing Director of Blankstone Sington, Freddy Colquhoun, Investment Director at JM Finn, and Lee Coates OBE, who is the Strategic Planning Consultant at ESG Accord.


During the session, our experts shared their views on the various lessons which had been learned from the hugely challenging conditions which 2020 presented for portfolio managers.

As the conversation progressed, experts looked at the differences between MPS and the more personalised approach offered by discretionary fund managers (DFMs). They didn’t shy away from matters of performance either, as the discussion around drivers of returns within MPS such as value vs growth, UK vs international exposure showed. If you wonder why the MPS market tends to be dominated by DFMs as opposed to the larger asset managers, you might find the conversation illuminating.

Looking through the sustainable investment lens

With sustainability guru Lee Coates on the panel, the conversation would never be far from themes around impact and ESG. Whether the drive towards more sustainable investment portfolios should be driven by Government regulation or by the demands and needs of clients, certainly made for interesting debate. Extending this to consider what impacts the Sustainable Finance rules are likely to have on advisers and investment managers was a natural progression. Then, with the focus firmly back on MPS, experts shared their views on which is better under SF rules – internal ESG CIP or using an ESG MPS?


Selection and Reporting: investment experts lift the lid on MPS

This was the theme of our November webinar, where we invited expert MPS managers to explore in some detail the processes and strategies involved in this important investment sector.

Webinar chair Chris Curtis was again joined by Freddy Colquhoun of JM Finn, Alex Funk, Chief Investment Officer at Schroders and Chris Bishun, Investment Solutions Director at Brooks Macdonald.

Here are just a few pointers as to some of the themes discussed to whet your appetite:


Incorporating ESG into the MPS process

All managers were united in the views that ESG has now become of genuine importance within MPS– and that’s not just about the impacts of the recent COP26 conference and consequent media coverage. An enlightened discussion took place highlighting how managers are seeing large amounts of new client money coming through from intermediaries into sustainable investments – it’s not just about switching out of more traditional investments. This underpins the view that client demand for sustainable investing is definitely increasing, particularly with younger demographics.

Communicating with clients and the opportunities in the MPS space

Experts highlighted how providers and intermediaries are increasingly finding the benefits of working together. They reminded us how information is flowing on a regular basis, how meaningful discussions are taking place and strong relationships are established. It’s a partnership approach. In this way, MPS is clearly becoming more and more integrated as a core element of the financial advice proposition to clients as the wide range of services now available reflects its importance.

The current & future environment around the MPS process

There was a candid assessment of the risks and opportunities which the managers are currently seeing.


Our experts’ views on the market outlook was particularly enlightening – even discussion of the so called ‘Pret a Manger’ index courtesy of JM Finn’s Colquhoun! And if you want to know about TINA or even TRINA, it’s worth tuning in. As you’d expect, concerns about the current inflationary situation gets a lot of air time –and experts are even talking turkey and Santa. We’ll leave it to your imagination until you can catch up with the full conversation yourself.

Further information

Both webinars were recorded so you can catch up with the discussions at a time which suits you.

Use the following links to watch our two latest MPS webinars.


1 Finding knowledge and integrity in MPS Webinar Watch our webinar – Finding Knowledge and Integrity in MPS – IFA Magazine

2 Selection and reporting: investment experts lift the lid on MPS Check out the highlights from our latest MPS Selection and Reporting Webinar – investment experts lift the lid – IFA Magazine

Don’t miss it: the 2021/22 IFA Magazine MPS Report is available NOW


This comprehensive report is considerably updated from our 2020 version, and continues to provide advisers with sufficient knowledge and confidence to investigate the market of fund managers providing Managed Portfolio Services.

Researched and written by leading Compliance Consultant Tony Catt the report provides the widest single-source publication on MPS research in the sector.

To access the report, please click here

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