So what is it you do? We all get asked this question from time to time, usually at social occasions and I always find it’s a challenge to get the balance right, providing enough information to answer the question sensibly but not too much that the eyes of the person you’re talking to glaze over and they wish they’d never asked.

I mention this because a number of adviser partners of PortfolioMetrix have been asking for a client brochure that they can pass on to their clients to explain how the relationship with PortfolioMetrix works and what the benefits are for their investments.

No problem I thought. Well, just as it’s sometimes tricky to know how much information to give to the ‘what do you do’ question, it turned out it’s also quite tricky getting the balance of information right in a client brochure.

Because PortfolioMetrix is a bit different to most discretionary fund managers (actually it’s other people who refer to us as this – we regard ourselves as discretionary investment managers as we don’t manage a fund we manage people’s investments) it’s important the clients of our adviser partners understand how we fit into the overall picture.

Explaining how we work together was the easy bit. Where we had a bit of trouble was knowing how far to go in explaining our investment process.

My investment colleagues are a very clever bunch and they are rightly proud of the processes they use to manage investments. The problem is, if we include in an adviser’s client brochure the sort of detail the investment team would ideally like to give, there’s a real risk we enter ‘double glazing’ territory, where both the advisers and their clients switch off.

Needless-to-say, getting the brochure produced was not the walk in the park I first thought it would be. The good news is, with a lot of help from some of our adviser partners, who helped define exactly what they wanted to help them inform their clients, plus a willingness to listen by the investment team, we do have the brochure! Hallelujah.