While our firm-wide philosophy is based on the interaction between high quality advice, manager selection, asset allocation and ultimately superior risk-adjusted returns, we recognise importantly that the path to achieve this will ultimately be diverse and specific to individual clients. CPG has always had, and will continue to have, a focus on the business and investment objectives derived by our clients from our relationships with them.
Proven Investment Philosophy
CPG has the skill set and experience to provide institutional and wholesale clients with the full suite of asset consultancy and research services. The following diagram details our key capabilities:
CPG is differentiated by the following:
Independent from financial institution or fund manager – our advice is based purely to benefit our clients with no inherent conflicts or external pressure or incentives.
Risk and return objectives defined and optimised at the portfolio level. The risk budget and alpha target is shaped by the investment objectives of each client, while the interaction of both drives asset allocation, portfolio construction and fund selection.
CPG targets alpha from two sources: manager selection and sector views. CPG has strong portfolio return credentials, on an absolute and risk adjusted basis. We have a proven track record of identifying risks earlier than our peers and also the courage to make contrarian calls to the benefit of clients’ returns when this can be achieved safely.
Portfolio construction reflects combination of qualitative & quantitative insights. Our investment team is now able to deliver an optimal blend of qualitative and quantitative inputs into the research process, risk management process and during portfolio construction.
Rigorous and independent on-going research. CPG is able to provide research and advice on all forms of eligible investments, including funds and securities – underpinned by sophisticated research technology.
Our asset allocation philosophy is based on an active thought process and willingness to make medium-term calls on the relative attractiveness of asset classes. This process coincides with a rigorous risk management framework and portfolio construction process that achieves above and beyond the efficient allocation of risk.
We assess markets on a regular basis, and while we are not advocates of aggressive short-term tactical shifts, we will adjust asset allocation across the business cycle. This will, from time to time, be supplemented by high conviction calls. History suggests just a few well-timed calls about sector mis-pricing at major turning points adds more value than short-term market timing.
Our process is designed to recognise medium term trends and take advantage and benefit from relative value opportunities. Indicative of our focus on risk, we will generally only look to execute new positions once a trend has been established, although we are more aggressive in avoiding overvalued sectors before a trend-break than in buying undervalued ones.
To model and optimise the most efficient asset allocation, we begin by assessing the medium and long-term return expectations for individual asset classes within the investible universe. We are not interested in extrapolating recent history but instead on undertaking rigorous assessment on the prospects for future return. Expectations are adjusted according to the level of confidence around these estimates. This relative assessment enables the opportunity set to be ranked according to the expected risk and return prospects.
When assisting a client with an investment portfolio our advice is driven by the return expectations of the client aligned with a range of risk measures that will set hard and soft guidelines for the portfolio construction process.
These guidelines may specify that there is an expectation that a given percentage must be allocated to a specific area or asset classes. In addition, the client may also choose to exclude specific asset classes. This will be built into the modelling process. Portfolios may also be driven from a risk budget perspective.
The portfolio will be constructed so that returns normally fall within the expected range. However it will also incorporate a degree of volatility permitted in normal circumstances around a projected performance target. On this basis, hard risk measures will include the maximum draw down that the client can tolerate at:
Asset class level
These parameters will also take into account the client’s investment time horizon.
The overarching philosophy motivating our advice is to be a provider of high quality, customised investment strategies that are designed to meet the needs of our client. We do not make tactical asset allocation decisions. The investment process aims to be forward looking and anticipate medium term changes to investment markets.
Our process is qualitative in nature but will undertake rigorous quantitative analysis to ensure our decisions are robust. Our fundamental investment philosophy is a prospective market outlook combined with strategic asset allocation and independent fund research. We aim to deliver investment strategies and portfolio management that leverage the strength of our collective analytical skills and resources, and our reputation for independence and integrity.
We assess the markets on a regular basis and while we are not an advocate of wholesale tactical shifts, we will tilt the portfolio away from or towards various asset classes as the cycle changes through time. These moves are designed to recognise the trends and execute the changes over time once the trend has been established.
We do not try to pick a new trend and time the market, nor do we normally completely exit from an asset class as we recognise that markets sometimes do not behave rationally and the portfolio is built on the basis of diversification. Our advice and the way we construct portfolios is constantly changing in line with the expansion and sophistication of financial markets.
The last decade has seen enormous change in debt markets in Australia and around the world. We have seen a significant increase in the breadth and complexity of investments available, with a corresponding increase in the range and level of risks on offer. These risks include capital risk, downgrade risk and liquidity risk.
Traditionally, the over the counter securities market has been an institutional market for full time professional investors. In the past 3 years, however, there has been a growing incidence of structured securities being sold directly to non-institutional investors. Many of the products are complex, and it is not uncommon for there to be no arm’s length research available on certain debt issues.
This leads to many mid market transactions being notable for their unequal nature. That is, often complex products sold or bought by those with far more knowledge about the market for a security, and the risks attaching to it, than the counterparty. The outcome of this is that those without access to market information and research can pay a high price, often without ever realising that they have dealt on poor terms or bought additional risks.
CPG provides advice to wholesale investors on debt and structured securities from a fiduciary perspective. We are not a broker, a fund manager or an issuer. Our role is to ensure that wholesale investors’ interaction with Australian debt markets is safe, fair, and profitable.
CPG applies proprietary filters to relevant debt and structured securities and produces comprehensive research on those that pass these initial tests. This research is made available to clients in the context of an advisory relationship. Typically CPG helps clients develop policy and a formal investment strategy and then assists them to identify and acquire suitable securities from the market.
CPG’s preferred revenue model is to be paid for its advice and to not receive commissions or other transaction related revenues. In this situation, any commissions that are payable are rebated to the client.
CPG also leverages the combined volume of its customer base to access institutional pricing on debt securities through a panel of brokers and issuers. The savings that CPG generates for clients in this way is often substantial enough to cover the cost of our advice. The performance benefits that can be achieved on top of that provide an additional benefit that makes a relationship with CPG compelling.