Portfolio Design

We employ a rigorous and disciplined approach to designing and implementing investment programs tailored to each client’s unique profile.

 
We have a global view of the investment markets, and we take a strategic, long-term approach to asset allocation, while also considering current investment themes and market influences. We believe that risk is just as important as return. As such, we define and quantify the potential risks associated with achieving various levels of return as part of our asset allocation process.

Our proprietary modeling tool - Dynamic Financial Analysis (DFA) - uses Monte Carlo simulations to assess the likelihood of meeting investment objectives in various time periods and market environments.  While traditional mean-variance optimization models define risk as standard deviation only, our model gives us the ability to optimize portfolios using different definitions of risk, and also allows for "skewness" of investment returns; providing a more realistic picture of potential worst-case scenarios.  This helps our clients determine the level of risk that is most comfortable for them, and ultimately, the most appropriate portfolio structure that reflects their preferences.  DFA also helps us optimize after-tax returns for taxable portfolios. 

We continually monitor and evaluate our clients’ investments to ensure that their investment program is in line with intentions and expectations, and we recommend adjustments where appropriate.

 

We collect data on each aspect of our clients’ portfolios, calculate investment returns, reconcile returns and market values, and compare results to meaningful benchmarks and peer groups. Our proprietary performance reporting tool is maintained by our internal technology staff, and gives us the ultimate flexibility to customize reports for our clients.

We review each client’s investment policy, investment strategy and portfolio mix as part of our comprehensive and customized risk management process. We regularly review portfolio investments to ensure that client objectives, preferences and constraints are being met.

A disciplined rebalancing program is crucial to the success of any long-term investment program. When asset classes move toward the outer limits of their allowable ranges, we suggest a course of action that carefully considers costs while taking advantage of near-term market dislocations that allow for opportune entry and exit points.

We look at risk from several lenses, and take many factors into consideration – including volatility, liquidity, diversification, transparency, leverage, and revenue and spending risks. We discuss risk and its implications on the investment program throughout the entire portfolio construction process, but even more importantly, we monitor and evaluate the investment program’s adherence to its risk budget as part of our ongoing oversight efforts.

We pride ourselves on those distinct strengths and core competencies that define us as a premier investment consulting firm.

 

We have provided advice and expertise on alternative investments for the past two decades, and we have helped our clients allocate significant assets to various non-traditional investment strategies. We take an integrated approach to alternative investments that considers the portfolio in its totality. We have specific team members dedicated to hedge fund, private equity and real estate investment strategies, and our broader research team and consultants augment the efforts of these individuals.

Because of the unique risks and complexities associated with non-registered investment vehicles, ACG has developed a rigorous due diligence process specific to these strategies. The reduced transparency that often exists requires an added level of due diligence on the managers’ operations and risk controls. We place significant emphasis on understanding the organizational structure, back office functions, and the risk monitoring, compliance and trading functions of the firm.

Client education is at the core of our business philosophy and practice. A well-informed and educated investor is in the best position to make competent and effective investment decisions. We hold both formal and informal educational sessions for clients, and we regularly produce market updates and white papers to keep our clients abreast of general market conditions and special topics that may impact their portfolio.

Having over $100 billion in assets under advisement provides us with significant leverage and scale that is applied for the benefit of all of our clients. We are often able to negotiate lower fees and investment minimums and terms, and obtain access to investment strategies that might otherwise be inaccessible to our clients.

We have worked with our clients to design custom, mission-focused portfolios for more than 15 years. Our efforts and experience cover the entire spectrum of mission-related investment initiatives, from public market strategies that incorporate a range of exclusionary and inclusionary screens, to solutions-oriented strategies that focus on particular themes and invest in companies involved in related industries. Our goal is to help our clients align their investments with their mission, while maintaining a prudent investment process.

Each of our clients is unique and has their own challenges, complexities, and specific areas of interest. Our work often takes us beyond the parameters of our core consulting services, and we welcome the opportunity to tackle any investment-related issues. Examples of our customized work include: Best Practices Reviews, Asset/Liability Modeling, Concentrated Stock Analysis, “What If” Scenario Modeling, and other special projects.