Index Fund Advisors, a Sutton Coldfield-based firm that specialises in providing investment advice to high net-worth individuals, has opened an office in Birmingham city centre.

It is aimed at providing an improved service to private-client solicitors and accountants.

Index, whose new office is at 1 Victoria Square, specialises in providing strategic rather than tactical advice.

The firm is one of only 20 in the UK authorised to use the investment funds of Dimensional Fund Advisors, who have been ranked three years in a row as the best overall company in the US fund management industry.

Speaking at the launch of the new office, David Salisbury, chairman and chief executive of DFA, which manages $70 billion of assets in the US, Australia and the UK, said a new model was emerging for the provision of financial advice in the UK.

"This focuses on portfolio structure rather than picking 'hot' managers. Charges are in the form of fees rather than commission which avoids conflict of interest. In consequence, this branch of the IFA movement is more a profession than a sales service," Mr Salisbury told representatives of Birmingham's financial and professional community.

Noel Farrelly, a director of Index Fund Advisors, said that many people were under the misunderstanding that market timing, stock selection and active management added value to a portfolio. However, there is simply no credible evidence supporting the idea that active management enhances investment results," he said.

"Investors have a bewildering range of investment opportunities. Most fund management companies use complex financial forecasts, but we believe in offering a broad diversification, low-cost and reliable asset class exposure of passive strategies whilst adding value through engineering and trading.

"The alternative is that investors incur fund management costs that adversely affect portfolio returns whereas our policy of offering institutional grade asset class strategies increases returns and leaves more money with the client."

Index Fund Advisors will retain its office at Index House, Little Aston Hall, Sutton Coldfield, where it will continue to service the needs of private investors.