Revamping Your PMS Fees: A Guide to Changing Fee Plans in Your Portfolio Management Service

by Alina Khan

Published On March 4, 2024

In this article

Portfolio Management Services (PMS) in India offer investors a bespoke approach to wealth management, tailored to individual financial goals and risk appetites. An integral component of this personalized service is the fee structure, which compensates the portfolio managers for their expertise and services. However, as investors' financial objectives evolve or market conditions change, the need to adjust the fee structure of a PMS account may arise. This article explores the possibility of changing fee plans in a PMS account, the regulations surrounding such changes, and practical insights for investors looking to optimize their investment strategies.

Understanding PMS Fee Structures

PMS fee structures are broadly categorized into two types: fixed and performance-based. Fixed fees involve a set percentage of the assets under management (AUM), while performance-based fees align the portfolio manager's compensation with the portfolio's performance, typically involving a profit-sharing arrangement above a certain benchmark.

Fixed Fee Plans

Fixed fee plans offer simplicity and predictability, allowing investors to know in advance the annual costs associated with their PMS account, irrespective of the account's performance.

  • Example of Fixed Fee Plans: You invest ₹1 crore in a PMS account with a fixed fee of 1.5% of the AUM annually. In this scenario, you would pay a fixed fee of ₹1.5 lakh (₹1 crore * 1.5%) every year regardless of how your portfolio performs, assuming you started and ended the period with an AUM of ₹1 crore. If your PMS generated a return then in that case, it is the average of the starting and the ending AUM that is charged at the flat fee. This offers predictability in terms of costs.

Performance-Based Fee Plans

Performance-based fee plans create an incentive for portfolio managers to outperform the market or a predetermined benchmark, aligning their interests with those of the investors.

  • Example of Performance-Based Fee Plans:You invest ₹2 crore in a PMS account with a performance-based fee of 20% of profits above a 10% hurdle rate. If your portfolio grows to ₹2.5 crore at the end of the year (a 25% return), and the benchmark is 10%, your profit would be ₹50 lakh (₹2.5 crore - ₹2 crore). The performance-based fee in this case would be ₹10 lakh (₹50 lakh * 20%). This incentivizes the portfolio manager to outperform the benchmark and is a pay for performance type of model.

Hybrid Fee Plans

Hybrid fee plans offer a blend of fixed and performance-based compensation for portfolio managers. This structure caters to investors who value both predictability and the potential for additional returns based on performance.

  • Example of Hybrid Fee Plans:You invest ₹3 crore in a PMS with a hybrid fee structure of a 1% fixed fee and a 15% performance fee above a 12% benchmark. Here, you would pay a fixed fee of ₹30 lakh (₹3 crore * 1%) every year irrespective of the performance. Additionally, if your portfolio grows to ₹3.6 crore (a 20% return) after a year, your profit would be ₹60 lakh (₹3.6 crore - ₹3 crore). The performance fee would then be ₹9 lakh (₹60 lakh * 15%). This structure offers a combination of predictability and potential for additional performance-based fees.

Can You Change Your PMS Fee Plan?

The flexibility to change fee plans in a PMS account is subject to the terms and conditions set forth by the PMS provider and the regulatory framework established by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). While many PMS providers offer the option to switch between fee plans, such changes are typically governed by specific guidelines, including:

  • Frequency of Changes: PMS providers may restrict the number of times an investor can change their fee plan within a given period, often to ensure stability and alignment with the long-term investment strategy.

  • Notice Period: Investors wishing to change their fee plan may be required to provide a notice within a stipulated timeframe, allowing the PMS provider to make necessary adjustments.

  • Regulatory Compliance: Any changes to fee plans must comply with SEBI regulations, ensuring transparency and investor protection.

How Many Times Can You Change Your Fee Plan?

The number of times an investor can change their fee plan in a PMS account varies across different providers. Some may allow an annual change, aligning with the financial year or the anniversary of the account's inception, while others may offer more flexibility. It is essential for investors to consult their PMS agreements and discuss with their portfolio managers to understand the specific terms related to fee plan changes.

Read this article to learn more about the Fee Structure for the Wright Portfolio Management Service.

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The Process of Changing Fee Plans

Changing the fee plan of a PMS account typically involves the following steps:

  • Review Current Agreement: Start by reviewing your existing PMS agreement to understand the terms related to fee changes, including any restrictions and the process for initiating a change.

  • Consult Your Portfolio Manager: Engage in a discussion with your portfolio manager to explore the implications of changing your fee plan, considering your investment goals and market conditions.

  • Submit a Formal Request: If a change is deemed beneficial, submit a formal request to your PMS provider, outlining your desire to switch fee plans. This request may need to be in a specific format as prescribed by the provider.

  • Acknowledgment and Implementation: Upon approval, your PMS provider will acknowledge the change and implement the new fee structure from the specified date, adjusting your account terms accordingly.

Strategic Considerations

When contemplating a change in your PMS fee plan, consider the following factors:

  • Investment Horizon: Ensure that the new fee plan aligns with your long-term investment goals and horizon. Performance-based plans may be more suitable for aggressive growth strategies, while fixed fees might be preferable for conservative, long-term investments.

  • Market Conditions: Evaluate prevailing market conditions and how they might impact your investment strategy and, consequently, the suitability of your fee plan.

  • Performance Expectations: Consider your portfolio's performance and the potential benefits of aligning your portfolio manager's compensation with your investment outcomes.

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To Wrap Up

The ability to change fee plans in a Portfolio Management Services (PMS)account offers investors flexibility to adapt their investment strategies to changing financial goals and market conditions. While most PMS providers in India allow for such changes, investors must navigate these adjustments within the framework of regulatory guidelines and the specific terms of their PMS agreements. Engaging in open discussions with portfolio managers, understanding the strategic implications of different fee structures, and staying informed about regulatory norms are pivotal steps in optimizing your PMS account to achieve your financial objectives. As the investment landscape continues to evolve, the adaptability in fee structures ensures that investors can maintain alignment with their investment philosophy and market dynamics, paving the way for sustained financial growth.

Want to learn more about PMS? Here are some interesting articles related to Portfolio Management Services in India:

  1. What is Portfolio Management Service - Types and Benefits

  2. What is the Minimum Investment Ticket Size for Portfolio Management Services (PMS)?

  3. Complete Guide to Factor Investing & the Wright Factor Fund PMS

  4. Fee Structure for the Wright Portfolio Management Service
  5. Path to Wealth Creation: Timeline To Initiate a PMS Account in India
  6. Understanding the PMS Process: Fund Pooling and Fund Accounting
  7. How to Open a PMS Account as an Investor in India?
  8. Understanding Portfolio Rebalancing in PMS: A Crucial Strategy for Wealth Management
  9. Risks of Investing in Portfolio Management Services (PMS): A Comprehensive Analysis

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