Our Process

A Systematic
Investment Approach

Our systematic approach to institutional investing is built on a legacy of reducing investment management fees and focused experience serving institutional clients.

Assessment of plan objectives

A properly constructed investment program starts with an understanding of your organization’s needs.  From the onset of a relationship, we take the time to understand the unique objectives of your plan and build a custom investment program to help achieve those objectives.

Investment Policy Statement

The investment policy statement (IPS) is the blueprint for the portfolio.  We design the IPS to ensure that it aligns the objectives and outlines the responsibilities of all investment-related professionals that work on behalf of the plan.

Asset allocation

Asset allocation is the foundation of an investment program.  Without a well-constructed foundation, the portfolio’s investments may not align with your long-term objectives.  We assist in developing tailored asset allocations that are conscious of investment constraints and risk considerations.

Manager selection and optimization process

We believe in prudently allocating active manager risk to the segments of the market where it is most likely to be rewarded.  This belief is why we implement a blend of well vetted active managers and low-cost index funds to meet our client’s objectives.  Our active manager selection process is an unbiased review of quantitative data and fundamental factors.  We don’t prescreen or short list managers, because we believe that a review of the entire universe of managers is in our client’s best interest.  We know that index funds are more than just a return on a screen, and that’s why our process digs deeper.  While investment management fees are a key consideration, we exhaustively vet each investment vehicle to understand the product, people, and underlying index.

Manager evaluation and portfolio monitoring

The process of building a portfolio of active and passive investment managers doesn’t end after all mandates have been filled.  We hold existing investment managers to the same high standards as a new manager that would be selected for a mandate.  For active investment managers, we evaluate if the manager continues to add value after fees, and closely monitor strategy and organizational changes.  With passive index investments, we take a similar approach to assessing the strategy and organization while also monitoring the investment landscape for more cost-effective alternatives to verify that our clients aren’t overpaying.

Comprehensive reporting and analysis

You can’t make informed decisions without comprehensive and insightful data.  That is why we deliver timely net of fee performance reports and analysis that help our clients answer the following questions:

    • Is my plan meeting its objectives?
    • Are my managers adding value?
    • Are the fees reasonable and justifiable?

ICS’ fully customizable reporting gives our clients the information that they need to make actionable decisions.  That is why every report is always:

    • Net of fees – this is your true return.
    • Timely – dated performance figures impair decision making.
    • Insightful – we actively monitor and analyze portfolio investments

A continuous process

A robust investment program has to be backed by a continuous investment process.  Because of the fluid nature of the investment landscape, economy, and our client’s needs, we continuously evaluate our investment programs.  We achieve this by:

    • Updating the IPS at least annually
    • Evaluating the asset allocation to ensure that client objectives are being met across the entire market cycle.
    • Ensuring that active managers continue to add value, remain in compliance with their mandate, and monitoring organizational changes.
    • Continuously improving and updating our reporting.

Contact Us

Learn more about our firm and how we can assist you. Complete the form and one of our professionals will contact you at your convenience.

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