Morgan Stanley

Multi-Asset Portfolio Solutions

Portfolio solutions for a complex world

What is MAPS?

MAPS is our latest evolution in managing your wealth. It is a series of professionally-managed, cost-effective investment portfolios with exposure to both domestic and global markets.

Each of our MAPS portfolios are designed to achieve consistent returns with lower volatility than investing in single asset classes, like Australian shares. This is achieved by delivering an actively-managed diversified portfolio that invests in Australian and international assets - including shares, listed property securities, fixed interest securities and cash.

How does MAPS work?

Morgan Stanley’s Investment Solutions team builds the MAPS portfolios by drawing on insights from our research team. The team builds on models published by our research team and makes them available through a Separately Managed Account (SMA) structure for you to easily access.

Within an SMA structure, your portfolio is professionally managed, however you retain direct beneficial ownership of each of the underlying assets.

When you choose a MAPS portfolio through an SMA structure, you effectively outsource all portfolio construction, implementation and administration responsibilities and you receive detailed reporting on a monthly basis.

How Morgan Stanley adds value to your portfolio

Our Investment Solutions team has a high level of conviction in the expertise of our Wealth Management Research team. Their investment philosophy is robust, flexible, built on leading insight and specifically aligned to the needs of Australian investors, with the overarching objective to optimise risk-adjusted returns through the cycle. Our research team believes there are several opportunities to add value during the investment process: appropriate asset allocation strategy, sensible active-passive decisions, quality manager selection and best practice portfolio construction and risk management.

Asset allocation strategy

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Research’s strategic asset allocation (SAA) is at the foundation of every portfolio and a critical determinant of long-term risk-adjusted returns. As a result, they devote significant intellectual capital to its construction.

However, in keeping with the principle of flexibility they also place considerable emphasis on tactical asset allocation (TAA) as a source of value. As markets evolve, a responsive TAA is key to ensuring portfolios are appropriately positioned to capture opportunistic beta (the return delivered by market movements).

Active/passive allocation decisions

Our research team’s philosophy is to separate active/passive allocation decisions from manager selection as they believe it leads to better portfolio outcomes. Their work suggests that neither active nor passive managers are categorically better. Rather, their relative attractiveness depends largely on the investment environment. As a result, we recommend allocating opportunistically to active and passive strategies with the over-arching goal of achieving the most efficient portfolio implementation.

Manager selection

The potential for risk-adjusted return enhancement through solid manager selection has motivated Morgan Stanley to develop and enhance tools and processes targeted to deliver risk-adjusted value in constructing investor portfolios. Morgan Stanley has a comprehensive program for filtering and selecting quality fund managers to deliver exposure to each asset class. This includes quantitative tools for ranking fund managers and extensive qualitative due diligence to identify the select group of active managers most likely to deliver consistent outperformance.

Portfolio construction and risk management

Portfolios are constructed to synthesise asset allocation, active/passive and manager selection decisions. Our Investment Solutions team adheres to a strict portfolio construction methodology, which is founded in a deep understanding of investor needs, emphasises the importance of asset allocation, incorporates insight from a broad range of sources – both proprietary and external – and is acutely aware of the importance of risk management.

The benefits of MAPS

Outstanding historical performance

Built on Morgan Stanley’s award-winning research

Broad diversification across asset classes

International exposure

Active risk management

Regular research insight

Full performance tax and reporting

Robust security selection

Access to national presentations

Lower volatility