Our Approach

About UCG

Thorough, repeatable, effective: the UCG approach.

UCG clients enjoy two major advantages: the highly personalized benefits of an independent firm, as well as access to vast institutional capabilities through a partner with deep resources. We have spent over 30 years honing our process, and provide valuable insights through a broad range of investment and wealth management consulting services.

  • We believe that all solutions need to be developed with the needs of the particular client in mind.  As consultants, we are mindful of the fact that there is not one perfect answer to all situations.  We work with our clients very closely, to understand their particular needs as well as their comfort level and biases, and offer alternatives that blend the best investment practices with those unique client factors.
  • Our investment manager selection and replacement process is dynamic and stems from our belief that high-quality fundamental manager analysis is influenced by what we call “The Four P’s”: investment Philosophy, security selection Process, investment Professionals and Performance.
  • We believe this systematic approach drives knowledgeable and appropriate decisions.  In order to further safeguard the positions of clients, we review all manager selections that are made on an ongoing basis.

 

We have a longstanding and unique association with the Independent Adviser Group (IAG), a division of Callan Associates. The Callan IAG coordinates the provision of Callan’s deep consulting resources and services for a select group of independent consulting firms, including UCG.

Callan is an acknowledged leader in the investment consulting industry, having four decades of experience and providing guidance to some of the country’s largest institutional fiduciaries. The firm has approximately $1.5 trillion in assets under consultancy.  As a longstanding member of Callan’s IAG, our consulting team is able to leverage Callan’s research, deep specialty consulting resources and collaborative support. Our association with Callan and our collective experience in providing investment consulting services to investors allows us to deliver consulting services of the highest quality to clients of all types. Our manager search and selection process leverages our strategic partnership with Callan. In addition to maintaining one of the largest manager databases in the industry, Callan has an exhaustive due diligence process and has been helping clients select investment managers for more than 40 years.

UCG devotes a great deal of time and energy to ensuring that we utilize only the most appropriate investments and managers for our clients. Given the extreme volatility inherent in the Capital Markets today, which is likely to continue in the foreseeable future, we also feel it is of the utmost importance to continually monitor prevailing trends in the global economy.

 

We maintain general beliefs that underpin our firm’s investment advice across all clients, namely:

  • We are ardent believers in diversification at the total portfolio level and in each asset class.
  • We believe very strongly that a long-term strategic investment plan needs to be developed based on specific goals, objectives, the risk tolerance of the investor and in light of their unique spending and liquidity needs.
  • Once the strategic plan is developed, we believe that each asset class should be structured with the goal of achieving returns in excess of the benchmark (assuming active management) in a way that does not expose the portfolio to undesired risks by style, capitalization or other attributes.
  • We believe that passive investments can play an important role in any portfolio.  We are advocates of passive or enhanced investment strategies in the areas of greatest market efficiency, such as large capitalization US equities.  We also feel that passive or enhanced investment strategies can be used to provide low-cost exposure in all public security markets and can be especially valuable tools in large portfolios.
  • We believe in active management, particularly in the less efficient areas of investment such as US small capitalization equities and non-US investing.  We also believe that in certain cases, prudent use of active management in more efficient areas can be beneficial. In all cases, a prudent process of manager selection coupled with a long-term view is necessary to maximize the opportunities for success in manager selection.
  • We attempt to achieve cost-efficient solutions, but are not averse to paying higher fees when appropriate.
  • We believe in complete transparency with respect to fees and robust documentation to ensure Fiduciary Best Practices are followed.
  • We generally believe in “simple” as opposed to “complex” portfolios. We strongly prefer fewer investment managers to more.  We believe in leveraging relationships across multiple plans where possible.