The best-performing wealth managers for high, medium and low-risk investors

The wealth management industry has long been associated with opaque fees and secrecy over performance. While many DIY investors are leaving in search of better returns on their own, an annual award by specialist publisher Citywire has lifted the lid on which firms are worth paying up for.

For “aggressive” investors who want to take on more risk, wealth manager Stonehage Fleming has banked the best return over the past three years, retaining its top spot from 2019. The Global Best Ideas Equity fund has made investors 51pc over the period.

Gerrit Smit, the fund’s manager, said he aimed to invest in businesses that could grow quickly in parts of the market that were going through change.

“We have long held online retailer Amazon for the growth in its cloud and e-commerce businesses, and have this year continued investing more, especially through the credit crisis,” he said. “E-commerce in America has increased more over the past six months than it did in the preceding 10 years, while cloud usage continues to grow.”

Apple’s share price has risen by three quarters so far this year, which has given a large boost to the fund’s performance.

For investors willing to take some risk, the best “steady growth” fund has been the Veritas Steady Growth portfolio, which has made 24pc over the past three years

Ross Ciesla, of Veritas, said the portfolio attempted to take advantage of a world that was changing rapidly. “This year the pandemic accelerated some of these trends, which have been part of our investment discussions for years,” he said. 

One of its holdings, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, which makes chips for electronic devices such as smartphones, has improved its revenue by 20pc so far this year.

Others prefer to invest with the simple aim of not losing money. For these people, the best low-risk wealth manager has been the little-known Arcrate Multi-Asset Strategy 1, which has returned 16pc over the past three years.

Andrzej Borkowski, of Arcrate, said technology, global healthcare and companies with strong brands catering to the emerging consumer in places such as China had been key themes for the fund over the past few years.

For those investors who linger in the middle of risk and safety, the best “balanced” fund has been the Barclays Private Bank Moderate Risk, which has made 28pc.

Alastair Randall, of Barclays, said this year the fund had performed particularly well as the managers had avoided the temptation to cut risk when the market was falling and resisted the urge to take profits when stocks started to recover.

“As the pandemic unfolded, global lockdowns kicked in and panic hit financial markets, our best investment decision was to make very few changes,” he said.