In my role as an independent consultant to the DFSPS Investment Committee I provide a global perspective on the key economic and political factors that are likely to influence the financial markets over the medium to long term.

This requires an examination of economic data across the key developed and developing economies and the possible impact upon economic growth, inflation and monetary policy. Similarly, an assessment of the key policy positions that are likely to be pursued, both on the fiscal and monetary front and how that may impact economic growth, inflation, foreign exchange, equity and bond markets.

The DFSPS Investment Committee has a deep bench of highly experienced investment professionals and is chaired by Stephen Romic who has over 30 years of investment experience.

The Investment Committee employs both quantitative and qualitative analysis to determine the optimal risk-adjusted portfolio construction profile across a range of portfolio risk profiles from ‘conservative’ to ‘high growth.’

As with any committee there is always the risk of ‘group think’ and an inclination to ‘cluster’ one’s forecasts around the market’s consensus view or to hide behind the ‘benchmark.’

I can say, most definitively, that this is not the approach adopted by DFSPS.

The culture of the team at DFSPS encourages robust cross-examination of any stated positions, and views, and the combination of two non-executive external consultants, which includes the highly respected Frank Ashe, with the executive team, provides for a healthy, and robust, examination of the various perspectives. In this most important regard the role of the ‘Chair’ is clearly vital as they provide the cultural framework, and leadership, which encourages and facilitates debate ‘without fear and without favour.’

At the conceptual heart of the DFSPS investment management approach is a dynamic risk management process which provides for a disciplined implementation of the quantitative and qualitative analysis provided by the investment committee.

I can say without any hesitation, having chaired several investment committees, that DFSPS has a highly robust investment decision making process which not only encourages, but demands, a disciplined, risk-based, and refreshingly non-consensus approach to managing a client’s investment portfolio.

It is an absolute pleasure working with Stephen Romic and his highly talented team.