Existing Portfolio Assessment and Advice
Amicus provides a comprehensive review of all our retained clients' portfolios. Studies (available or request) show that Amicus advice has historically added between 20 bps and 40 bps over a default position of simply rolling 3 month term deposits for conservative clients. Further peer based comparisons show that as a group Amicus clients tend to out-perform other peer clients (without advice or advised by others) as a group by around 15 bps to 20 bps per annum independent of the client portfolio size. The cost of Amicus advice is around 3bps (for a typical portfolio size) and so clients usually receive a five to seven fold return on their investment, plus the qualitative and quantitative benefits of the other services that Amicus offers as detailed below.
Reporting, Compliance and External Monitoring
Amicus reports each month on retained client's portfolios. These reports are either used directly or to supplement internally generated reports within the organisation. Amicus will check the portfoilio each month against limits and ensure it is compliant with the investment policy and strategy. For those clients wanting a higher level of real time reporting and deal entry we offer a third party solution through Treasury Direct software which we integrate with our overall service. This software is particularly useful for entities that are merging or have recently merged (as portfolios can be run both separately and together), or those looking at more sophisticated investments beyond term deposits such as managed funds or FRN's where the reporting system can be integrated with Austraclear accounts.
Amicus can be commissioned to provide independent valuation of the client’s portfolio separate based on trading prices (or bids and offers), by reference to other tradeable securities or by other methods (level, 1 2 & 3 valuations). This is provided as part of our service to retained clients and on a project basis to others. Amicus independent valuations have been accepted by all the major auditors including, PWC, Spencer Steer, Morse Group, Forsyths, Auswild, Grant Thornton, Pitcher Partners and the Audit Office of NSW.
Investment Policy Review and Strategy Formulation
Amicus can review and develop investment policies both on a retained and project basis for all other types of clients. We have been commissioned to do this for local government, churches and charities, universities and schools, corporates and fund management clients in past. We also help with an ongoing investment strategy which operates within the policy framework to ensure returns are maximised and risks minimised under varying market conditions and within the constraints of the legislation and the risk appetite of the client.
Socially and Environmentally Responsible Investing
Amicus has been frequently called upon to provide advice in this area; particularly in the area of investment policy formulation. Amicus has advised many clients in the area of negative and balanced filters (positives off-setting negatives), primary vs peripheral business, degree of specialisation and level of involvement and how to deal with investments in banks who fund all business. Amicus is familiar with "Green bonds", Social Benefit Bonds, various ethical investment funds and other potential investments.
Advice on Mixed Legal and Financial Issues and Expert Witness Services
Amicus does not provide legal advice, however our financial expertise in the areas of structured products and securitisation is being employed to help resolve many mixed financial and legal questions. In total, we have performed over 10 formal expert witness assignments, including a court appearance as an expert in the Ceramic Fuel Cells vs Oakvale Captial case in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2010 and many more on an informal basis.
Claims against Lehman Brothers Australia and Other Parties
Amicus recently helped over 40 different clients through the claims resolution process and proof of debt process for structured investments purchased from Lehman Brothers Australia prior to the GFC. All clients were successful in making a recovery and in a number of cases, Amicus was able to secure a higher offer from the liquidator than was initially assessed. In total Amicus clients have recovered over $18 million with more dividends still to be paid. In addition, Amicus has helped with claims against major banks and is currently engaged to help with a claim against a credit ratings agency.
Advice on Legacy Structured Investments
Amicus is expert in the areas of structured investments including CDO's and the company was originally founded in June 2008 as Structured Credit Research and Advisory to help clients with structured investments purchased prior to the GFC. Amicus can help with valuations, risk of default or loss and the possibility of sales for any residual positions. Amicus will advise whether to continue holding or to sell will likely provide the best economic outcome, but is also conscious that other factors may affect the decision.
Post the GFC, Amicus advice saved its clients millions of dollars as in general most of the strucutured products issued recovered in value and matured without loss (despite the press headlines) and those investors who sold in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 often did so at depressed prices and incurred substantive losses as a result.
New Investment Appraisals
We can provide a comprehensive assessment of any new investment comprising modelling, risk of default, cash flow disruption, ratings downgrade and ongoing stability. The review will also include an assessment of fair value and the possibility of capital appreciation. Investments we have reviewed recently include, senior bank and ADI FRN's, subordinated debt, hybrids, various structured products, different funds management options and socially and environmentally responsible investments.