PRU commissions AKG to conduct independent review of £30bn PruFund range

Written by Adam Cadle

Prudential has commissioned AKG to undertake an independent review of its smoothed multi-asset PruFund range of funds to support the more than 4,000 advisers across the UK, who use the fund range, to meet their due diligence requirements.

The in-depth report covers the assessment of the PruFund investment and risk management approach, and the associated governance structures and processes, which underpin the delivery of the PruFund range of products.

Among the report’s conclusions are that financial advisers are quickly able to see which part of the investment process is being outsourced to PPMG, through the use of PruFunds, and which responsibilities remain with them and that the core PruFund Growth and PruFund Cautious Funds have both been operating in the market for some time now and have displayed strong track records in terms of performance against stated objectives and delivering Expected Growth Rates.

The PruFund range of funds, which first launched in 2004, is meeting customers’ demand for proven investment capability and risk managed solutions, particularly as they move into the latter stages of accumulation and into retirement income. In the first half of 2017 APE sales of PruFund increased 29 per cent to £564m, with total assets under management reaching £30bn.

The smoothed multi-asset funds, are designed to spread investment risk by investing in a range of assets and protecting investors against some of the ups and downs of the market by using an established smoothing process. The funds are managed by the Prudential Portfolio Management Group, a team of 80 in house investment specialists.

Prudential investment expert Paul Fidell said: “Asset allocation is a highly specialist skill and many advisers are recognising the benefits of outsourcing this part of the financial planning process. Outsourcing does not, however, mean an abdication of responsibility and it is vitally important that advisers understand not only the features of the products that they are recommending to their clients but also the governance and management structure that sits behind them. It’s something that the regulator is particularly hot on and is why we’ve asked AKG to undertake this extensive review.

“For advisers who are supporting their clients to achieve a steady return from their investments, particularly in retirement, balancing a client’s appetite for risk and their need for a certain level of return continues to be challenging. Smoothed multi-asset funds, such as the PruFund range of funds, are proving increasingly popular in meeting these requirements.”

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