HSBC, Aviva, Lindsell Train and Vanguard consistently top investor ratings for value in 2019

Consumer investment site has today revealed the 10 asset managers judged to provide 'best value' by investors.

24 September 2019;

According to research from the company’s Ongoing Value Testing in 2019 HSBC, Aviva, Lindsell Train and Vanguard have ranked consistently in the top 10 companies this year.

The FCA has introduced a requirement for all asset managers to publish value assessments from 30 September 2019, in a series of reforms identified by their Asset Management Market Study. 

Although the regulator has provided a non-exhaustive list of factors to consider, it has not been prescriptive about the approach, not provided a tick-list of things to include.

This year, investment advice and research company has asked over 5,000 retail investors what they value from asset managers, and asked them to assess and rate the value provided by their chosen asset manager(s). This is tested on a quarterly basis with investors, tracking movements and changes in response to market and provider-specific news.

In September, a survey of 2,000 fund investors identified the following 10 groups as those which deliver the best value to customers, as rated by customers themselves.

Boring Money has conducted this survey with over 5,500 fund investors in 2019 over 3 subsequent quarters, tracking value assessments from a customer perspective. Six of the firms have been in the top 10 consistently, and these providers are asterisked in the chart above.

In addition to the obvious performance and price metrics, investors also value both clarity and service. There are clear calls for improved clarity all round in both defining and communication objectives, as well as being very clear on what is being charged. As for service, this is less a story of traditional customer service metrics, and much more closely aligned with brand, perceived experience, peace of mind and a sense of trust.

Woodford Investments comes unsurprisingly bottom this quarter, with just 18% of customers reporting that they felt the manager offered good value for money in Q3, a fall from 36% the previous quarter.

Holly Mackay, CEO of Boring Money, comments:

The FCA has been very clear that it wants asset managers to think about value for their customers – this is not a single formula or a cut and paste methodology. As a group, investors value trust and peace of mind above anything else. Sharpe Ratio and other traditional analyst calculations don’t capture this!

Different brands have different customers and we see varying reasons which fuel the perceptions of value. For some it’s all about brand and solidity. For others it’s simply a tale of performance. And a noble few get strong ratings for clarity – investors value knowing what to expect, what they are paying and what’s going on.

We are working with asset managers to ensure that the customer voice is captured in value assessments which otherwise risk being simply data-led equations and miss the very essence of what value means to the end investor. We hope that some things which customers value – such as the ability to find a single all-inclusive fee – will increasingly work their way into standard reporting and communications.

This quarter Boring Money added ESG inputs to the value tracker. Although investor opinion is polarised, 74% of end investors said that ESG was either fairly important or very important when assessing value.

Interestingly, two of the top 10 rated managers for overall value fall in the bottom quartile when investors are asked to assess them on ESG credentials – only 49% of Vanguard customers rate the manager well on ESG factors, and this falls to 36% for Lindsell Train. As ESG hots up, we expect this to become an increasingly important component of the value assessment puzzle.

See our Ongoing Value Testing

Customer Value Tracker

We have created a framework and ongoing value tracking process which goes beyond the obvious issues of performance and fees to consider service, communications and other important customer metrics. 

See how our Ongoing Value Testing could help with your reporting!



Notes to Editors: 

  • The FCA Policy Statement PS18/8 was published in April 2018
  • Survey conducted with a sample size of 2,000+ fund investors in September 2019
  • Previous surveys have been conducted in January and May 2019, with a total of 5,500 fund investors canvassed this year
  • Fund investors were asked about value from over 30 fund managers – those managers with small sample sizes each quarter - less than 50 responses in any one quarterly survey - are discounted from the results


More details on the methodology and what is tracked are available on request

For media enquires please contact:

Cara Whitehouse, Boring Money

020 3871 2524


About Boring Money:


Boring Money is an independent research and content business which provides information, tips and Best Buys to consumers. The business conducts regular research with industry providers and consumers and looks at the developing DIY investment market from both the customer and provider perspective. Boring Money holds test accounts with over 25 providers and also holds regular focus groups and interviews with consumers to ensure regular input and feedback from the user perspective.

Founder Holly Mackay has worked in the investment industry for 20 years and is supported by a team of 10 researchers, analysts and marketing execs. Boring Money is not regulated to give personal financial advice, nor is it regulated by the industry watchdog.

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