FAQ

How can I become a customer of Iolcus?

It’s easy. The first step is to get in touch with us (either by telephone or email) in order to set up the first meeting. After we meet you and come to understand your individual needs and risk profile we will prepare the necessary documents in order to create the new investment accounts or to be allowed to manage your existing ones.

Who are Iolcus’ customers?

Iolcus serves private as well as institutional clients who are looking for professional wealth and investment management services. Our clientele spans from investors who simply want a serious and responsible manager they can trust with their money to investors with the most particular and specialized demands.

What is the minimum sum that Iolcus will manage?

To be able to offer the level of services we deem necessary, especially in terms of diversification, the minimum sum for someone to invest with Iolcus is set at €250,000. Given such a sum we can achieve a satisfactory level of investment diversification, which means that it allows us to invest in a sufficient number of products and securities in order to be able to reduce the risk that arises when one invests in a limited number of securities or sectors.

What kind of documents will I have to sign?

Agreement with Iolcus (either portfolio management or portfolio investment advice) – This contract defines the relationship between Iolcus and the Client.

Custody agreement with the custodian bank – with this contract a securities and currency bank account is opened in the client’s name and the terms of the relationship between the client, the bank and Iolcus are defined. This contract includes the awarding of management rights (Power of Attorney) which gives Iolcus the ability to conduct trades in the name of the client.

Agreement with a brokerage company (where applicable) – This contract opens a brokerage account with a broker in Greece for securities transactions. It is not required when the account has been opened with a bank not base in Greece. In cases where the client already has an agreement with a broker in Greece, that is enough and a new one is not required.

Who does the managed account belong to?

The account is the property of the client (and any potential co-beneficiaries).

Can I make use of an existing account in a bank that Iolcus has an custody agreement with?

Yes, if the account is with a bank not located in Greece.
No, if the account is with a bank based in Greece.

How can Iolcus manage an account that is not in its name?

Iolcus can be given that right by an authorization of a very narrow scope, made by the client, known as being given the Power of Attorney (PoA).

What does granting Iolcus the Power of Attorney entail and what are the risks involved?

The Power of Attorney grants Iolcus the right to represent the client before the Bank with regards to all matters pertaining to the management of his /her assets deposited with the bank. It does not allow it to transfer money or securities to other accounts. Such legal arrangements have been tried and tested for a long time, both abroad and in Greece, and proved legally robust.

How much say will I have over the makeup of my portfolio?

Iolcus offers both portfolio management and investment advice services.

In the case of the former, namely portfolio management, our investors trust us to make all the decisions in their name. Even so, there is some flexibility within our models, allowing us to offer you the possibility to add or remove certain securities or asset classes from their portfolio’s investment universe so long as this does not move them too far away from the targets and characteristics of the specific model.

In the case of the later, i.e. investment advice, investors approve or reject Iolcus’ investment proposals and recommendations, which are made in accordance with the clients’ risk profiles and the kind of portfolio they have chosen.

Moreover, in cases where very particular demands or needs need to be met, there is the possibility to create a completely individualized, bespoke portfolio.

What are the costs one should expect?

Iolcus charges you a fixed percentage of your portfolio annually. That percentage depends on the size as well as the make-up of the portfolio. In some types of portfolios, we also charge a success fee, namely a percentage of the profits that the portfolio has made.

Aside from these charges there are transaction fees that are charged by traders and custody fees levied by the custodians.

Are the management fees fair and reasonable?

Management fees in the form of a percentage of the funds invested, and especially success fees, align the manager’s interests with those of the client and therefore are seen as particularly fair: On the one hand, the manager is not rewarded based on the number of transactions, and hence has no incentive to make lots of -not always necessary- trades, and on the other, it allows the manager to not hesitate to change a recently taken position if market conditions change, something that they would avoid if the transaction had cost more.

Moreover, our clients benefit from the premium pricing arrangements that Iolcus has achieved with banks and traders because of its size and which are not available to smaller private customers. In the case of portfolio management Iolcus makes no money from fees on your transactions and receives no other payment from the trading companies or other partners. Our sole concern is the satisfaction of our clients this is why we make sure to minimize any possibility for any conflicts of interest to arise.

What sort of information will I be receiving?

Iolcus sends a monthly statement, indicating the market value and the returns of the securities in your portfolio. This communication can happen over traditional mail or by email, based on your preference. Moreover, you have access at all times to our smartphone app or tablet which can provide you with an overview of your portfolio. Aside from these, it goes without saying that we are always at your disposal to inform you in greater depth about your investments or to answer any of your questions, whether by phone or email.

Is withdrawing money from my investment accounts easy? How easy / hard is it to access my funds?

If there is a cash balance in your investment account which covers the sum you would like to withdraw, you can do so immediately, requesting the bank to transfer the relevant funds to the bank account of your preference.

In case there is not enough of a cash balance to cover what you require, we can make the necessary funds available to you within 3 business days from the moment you ask us to take the relevant steps. The 3-day period is necessary in order to be able to file the orders and wait for them to be cleared and settled in order to gather the required sum.

How easy is it to end my cooperation with Iolcus? What is the time period during which I am locked-in to my agreement?

Iolcus will never “lock you in.” From the moment you sign with us you are free to terminate the contract at any point. After all, the custody accounts are in your name, so you don’t even have to wait to transfer your funds and securities to the account of your choice: it’s all already there.

Can I use Iolcus’ services if I am not a Greek citizen or a tax resident of a different country?

Yes.

How secure is the cooperation with Iolcus and the custodians?

The security of your investments is our utmost priority. This is why we have a multifaceted approach to it:

On a primary level, we make sure that your money is in the custody of the most trustworthy banks in Greece, in Switzerland, and in Luxembourg. These banks assume the role of the Custodian, i.e. the entity which safekeeps the securities you own. The key concept here is that these securities are simply kept by the bank and they are not part of the bank’s balance sheet (as for example when you have deposits with any bank). Rather, you entrust it with the safekeeping of your securities and hence you face no risk even in the extreme case of a bail-in.

You say Iolcus is independent. What does this mean?

The fact that a company is independent means that it is not directly or indirectly associated with any one bank. This, in turn, means that the only person to whom Iolcus can be held responsible and to account is our client, you. Hence, the only factors we take into account when making investment decisions is our investors’ best interest and not, for example, the commissions that we could get by selling you the bank’s products.

What kinds of products does Iolcus invest in?

Iolcus can invest in the entire spectrum of securities: stocks, bonds, derivatives etc. However, the portfolios that we create for our clients only include the products that match their risk tolerances and are in accordance with their investment profiles. The portfolios we manage make extensive use of ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) to avoid the high fees of traditional active mutual funds.

What are ETFs?

An ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) is an investment fund that is traded in stock exchanges around the world, like any vanilla stock. The most common iteration is the exact replication of some index, whether stock (e.g. S&P 500, Eurostoxx 50) or bond (e.g. the Bloomberg Barclays Euro Aggregate total return index which includes a wide and representative selection of European corporate and government bonds). ETFs, by virtue of not being actively managed but rather passively tracking indices have minimal costs and commissions (for example a mere 0.05% rather than the 2% actively managed funds often charge).

Is your approach to investing conservative or aggressive?

This is completely up to you. You will present us with your situation and the goals you hope to achieve by investing your money. We commit to come to the table with no preconceptions, in order to be able to see your needs and wishes as you do and offer you the solutions that fit you best.

Do I have direct access over the internet?

Yes. Iolcus offers its customers an online platform, accessible via smartphone so that our clients have access to their portfolios at all times.

How often do you conduct trades on your clients’ portfolios?

Whenever necessary. Trades mean costs and that is something that at the end of the day is to our clients’ detriment. So, we try to limit changes in the makeup of the portfolios and hence to the costs our clients face. The main reason to conduct trades is not our effort to time the market but rather when we find our assumptions to be wrong and hence that a particular investment is unlikely to return what was expected.

What does Iolcus do to safeguard my personal data and my privacy?

Iolcus takes all the necessary precautions in order to safeguard the privacy of all its clients. Our team’s access to our investors’ files is compartmentalized and strictly limited to what is absolutely necessary.

Why should I work with Iolcus (and not some other management company)?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Our primary concern is to make sure we are a good match with the potential investor. If we both agree on that, all’s well and by that point you will have discovered your own reasons to prefer Iolcus. If not, we think that you still will be better off for going through the process, as this inquisitive first stage aims tot present your financial situation to you in the clearest way possible, whether we are talking about existing investments or this is the first time you invest. So, even if we are not a match, you will be benefitting from an honest and objective view of your situation.

What are the Apolis Funds?

The Apolis Funds are a family of Alternative Investment Funds that have been set up by Iolcus in Luxembourg. Iolcus manages these Funds, after being authorized both by the Capital Markets Commissions of both Greece and Luxembourg (in order to get the European passport for these AIFs), from Athens, Greece.

What is the difference between European UCITS Mutual Funds and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs)?

Traditional UCITS Mutual Funds face restrictions both in terms of the exposure per security as well as with regards to exposure per asset class.

On the contrary, Alternative Investment Funds face no such restrictions to their investment universe. There are no limits to exposure on individual asset classes, while the limits per individual security are much laxer. In addition, they can use derivatives for reasons other than risk hedging such as investment positions in their own right. They are also allowed to use leveraging to achieve their investment strategy’s goals.

The utilization of complex securities is the reason why the European Union has limited their sale to either well-informed investors (i.e. investors who can comprehend the risks of such an investment) or professional investors.

However, when one invests through an investment management contract, the road to such securities opens up since the manager making the investment decisions fulfills, by definition, the criteria to be eligible to trade in such securities.