Our investment process

Trustees require a clear understanding of the process used to invest for their portfolios if they are to have confidence that they will achieve their charitable objectives.

Every client is different and our investment process gives us the flexibility to respond to your charity’s specific needs, with strong risk controls built in. The construction of a portfolio should coherently address the investment mandate set by the charity – with attitude to risk being one of the most important factors for consideration. 

Using the collective insight of our research teams and investment managers, we aim to protect and grow the capital of each client according to their individual needs.

Please remember that the value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not receive back the original amount invested.

The four strands of our investment process

1. Assessment of global economic strategy and outlook 
Through daily morning meetings, weekly investment meetings and regular strategy presentations, our investment managers review high frequency market and economic data, identify key messages and themes, highlight market issues, share expertise and undertake strategic and tactical analysis of business cycles and risk. 

2. Monthly asset allocation process
Each month we bring together asset class specialists, and through a series of meetings, ascribe rankings to asset classes. This monthly asset allocation process means our investment managers have up-to-date data and expert insight to help them make investment decisions on your behalf. 

3. Active asset allocation 
We carefully monitor asset allocation and take account of the ‘investment clock’ discipline to marry our macroeconomic view to a suggested asset allocation blend. This links changes in growth and inflation expectations to asset class rotation.

4. Portfolio construction
Responsibility for constructing your charity’s portfolio lies with your investment manager.  Our sector, stock and fund selection process, as well as risk analysis, play a key part.  Your manager’s specific knowledge of your particular circumstances is then overlaid to build a suitable portfolio for your charity.  

Our credentials


One of the largest non-quoted charity and private client wealth managers in the UK, looking after more than 411 charities, as at 29 March 2018.


Independently assessed 12-year track that record demonstrates our ability to add value through rising and falling markets. 


Around £20.4 billion of funds under management and advice as at 31 December 2017, of which around £2 billion is for charities.


Over 170 investment managers with low staff turnover, providing you with consistency and continuity of service. 



“We moved the management of our charitable funds to Smith & Williamson in early 2012. We have been delighted by the service that we have received from John and his team. They respond quickly to any queries and are always friendly and helpful. John attends our quarterly finance and investment committee and is always able to respond to detailed questions about our portfolio as well as give us an excellent, succinct and easily understood overview of world markets and current factors of influence.”
Chief Executive 
Quartet Community Foundation


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