IPM was first regulated in 1997 under the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation (“IMRO”), the self-regulating body that pre-dated the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”). IPM was established by three individuals with experience in banking, asset management and retail distribution. The original business model was to satisfy the demand for independent product advice in the fund industry: providing high quality investment analysis and research on UK and offshore collective investment schemes. The business developed rapidly and expanded into providing analysis of an individual client’s (an investment business) range of fund products as well as research across industry. Over the years, IPM established an enviable client list that included some of the largest names in the UK retail sector and established an industry reputation for its independent research.
It was a natural step for IPM to extend its research into the provision of wealth management services for IFAs; where the IFA used IPM to provide discretionary management services for its client’s investment portfolios. From the very beginning, the approach was to manage portfolios on the understanding that clients had taken time and effort to accumulate their wealth and whilst they sought a low-volatile return, their prime objective was not to put this wealth at undue risk. As part of this division IPM launched its IPM EIS Portfolios; an innovative portfolio service providing the experienced investor a means of investing in smaller high technology growth companies in a tax efficient manner (so the tax efficiency provides some mitigation of risk).
In late 2006, IPM offered its experience and infrastructure to independent minded portfolio managers that wanted to branch out and develop their own businesses. This became the Fund Division and was a natural extension as IPM was always looking for innovative product for its wealth management division and it was not always possible to find product appropriate for the market environment at the time. This ‘partnership’ approach was similar to the way IPM’s original business had developed. In 2007, IPM launched the ION Fund, a hedge fund that traded DAX futures. This was a classic IPM investment solution; whilst the underlying investment instrument could be regarded as high-risk, the investment strategy was neutral and positions were largely liquidated at the end of the day. It was therefore a non-correlated and highly liquid investment solution. The ION Fund rose 24% in 2008 and soon became a solution of choice for many institutions that also wanted a product with the same characteristics. The Fund (and managed accounts using the same strategy) reached a peak of around $600million under management. In 2013, the ION Fund was spun off into its own business, separate to IPM. In 2009, for one of its IFA partners, IPM launched the first solar park fund – based in Guernsey, the fund financed, developed, built and managed three 1MW solar parks in southern Italy. These parks were connected to the Italian National Grid in June 2011 and have since been producing a renewable energy income stream.
Since the ‘creditcrunch’ it has became increasingly obvious that investors want yield and are tired of the volatility inherent in traditional markets. What investors increasingly wanted was a higher yielding investment solution where the risk was non-correlated and managed.
Recently, IPM has concentrated on its proprietary investment business using its experience gained over the past 20 years; making strategic investments on its own behalf in the technology sector and the financial services sector.
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