A 10 point Friends Stewardship roundup – given events

The following is a brief potted history of who owns what – with regard to the Stewardship ethical fund assets.

This follows on my earlier blog which introduced the Friends/Schroder  relationship and teleconference link.

Since that time it has become clear (because I have received my own voting papers) that the Aviva approach is genuine.   What may or may not happen to Stewardship as a result can only be speculated upon. 

The following sums up where we are today – as at 4/12/14

  1. Friends (Provident/Life) has always owned the Stewardship brand (launched 1984).
  2. From FPAM to F&C ‘Stewardship’ was effectively managed ‘in house’ – within the ‘Friends’ group of companies.
  3. Friends/F&C spit the responsibility for the different product areas many years ago – Life and Pensions funds (and clients) were and are ‘owned’ by Friends and UT/OEICs were and are owned by F&C.
  4. Friends’ decision to sell of F&C (again – a precis version) changed the dynamics of the relationship.   F&C retained the management of all funds for some years but started launching new SRI options without the use of the Stewardship brand.
  5. Friends’ assets are currently (Q4/14) moving across to Schroders.   This means that their Life and Pension funds, including Stewardship,  will move away from F&C.  (I understand some assets may remain – but not many).
  6. The Stewardship Life funds were heavily invested via the F&C Stewardship OEICs so this means the size of the F&C OEICs will inevitably fall.  The Pension funds were separate.
  7. F&C retain a significant and highly regarded GSI team – and have made it clear they wish to retain SRI as a key USP. 
  8. Friends have brought Schroder on board – use usefully happen to employ a couple of former F&C GSI team members.
  9. Assets – F&C SRI assets are in the region of £1bn.  Friends Stewardship assets are probably (I estimate) in the region of £2bn.
  10. Change is always unsettling but in many ways this is long overdue and potentially good news for many clients.  All other things being equal (who knows?) this enables both groups to move their retail ethical propositions forward.

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