The product review process
Each product review will go through a five stage process before it hits your screens:
- Investment provider data upload
- Worthstone counter check
- Worthstone analyst – analysis & review
- Worthstone Investment Committee – submission & review.
Step One: Registration
The investment provider or promoters register brief details of themselves and their offering on the Worthstone website. Worthstone then carries out a brief check to verify the identity of the fund manager and their offering to assess whether or not the investment opportunity fits our criteria for social investment.
Step Two: Promoter Uploads Information
The promoter uploads a significant amount of more detailed information about the investment opportunity and all relevant parties to the arrangement. The promoter is required to input into each data field in order for the submission to move on to the next stage of product review. This list is monitored and under continuous review to ensure that we are as comprehensive in our data capture as possible. We request the same information from all promoters to ensure consistency. The Worthstone analyst will assess whether or not the investment opportunity fits our criteria for social impact investment.
Step Three: Worthstone Counter Check
Once the data upload form has been completed, we request a copy of the prospectus, which is reviewed to make sure that the information uploaded by the promoter is consistent with the prospectus or information memorandum. At this stage we are looking to highlight any obvious gaps or inconsistencies, or areas where the information we have is insufficient for a regulated investment adviser firm.
The counter check is undertaken by a Worthstone analyst who will compare the full prospectus and transaction documentation with the data provided by the promoter in the data upload forms. Any inconsistencies will be referred back to the promoter and the submission will only progress further if satisfactory answers are received.
Step Four: Worthstone Analyst – Analysis & Review
At this stage, the analyst who will be experienced in retail financial product reviews and social impact investments that have come to market to date, will review data from all sources and prepare a draft product review in preparation for the full product analysis. This will be submitted to the Investment Committee (IC) for checking.
Step Five: Worthstone Investment Committee (WIC) – Submission & Review
A product review will require IC approval before publication. Members have been selected for demonstrating excellence in their specialist field (tax, compliance, regulatory, fund management, chartered and certified financial planner). Members, who are independent, and have no vested interest in the outcome, scrutinise each product review “cold” (i.e. they have no prior knowledge about the investment opportunity). This critical eye, sense check approach ensures the rigour of our process.
Please bear in mind that the IC members are not in a position to recommend any product nor to provide investment advice to any subscriber (or their clients). Their role is simply to “sense-check” the Worthstone analyst’s commentary before each product review is published. They do not carry out any form of due diligence and rely solely on the information provided to them.