Manager News – December 2015
Standard Life Global Emerging Markets:
Standard Life Investments (SLI) is to close its Global Emerging Markets Equity Unconstrained fund, which is managed by Matthew Williams, following the withdrawal of a significant unit-holder. Following this redemption the group has decided the fund is too small to be commercially viable so will close the fund on the 14th January 2016, with Williams remaining with the group following this closure.
Columbia Threadneedle UK Equity:
Having recently stopped running the Columbia Threadneedle UK Equity Income fund, Leigh Harrison is stepping down from the group’s UK Overseas Earnings fund, with responsibility passed to Jeremy Smith. Smith recently joined the company as their Head of UK Equity Research from Liberum Capital, where he was part of their equity sales team and he was previously the Head of UK Equities at Neptune Investment Management.
Jupiter Equity Income:
Chris Watt of Jupiter Fund Management is leaving the group to join Aberforth Partners, having worked at Jupiter for 16 years and was responsible for their Responsible Income, UK Alpha and Growth & Income funds. Responsibility for the Responsible Income fund will pass to Charlie Thomas, who heads the company’s Environmental & Sustainable team, whereas the UK Alpha fund will pass to Richard Curling. No decision has been made as to who will succeed Watt on the Growth & Income fund. At Aberforth Watt is replacing founding partner Andy Bamford, who intends to retire at the end of this year, with Peter Shaw of Kames also hired to replace Bamford.
Kames UK Equity:
Aberforth Partners has hired Peter Shaw of Kames to succeed founding partner Andy Bamford, who intends to retire at the end of this year. Shaw managed the firm’s UK Equity and UK Opportunities funds and he will join Aberforth alongside Chris Watt of Jupiter who has also been hired to succeed Bamford. Kames has promoted Phil Haworth to support Stephen Adams on the UK Equity fund whilst Audrey Ryan will support the UK Equity team in running the UK Opportunities fund on an interim basis until a permanent replacement for Shaw can be found.
Newton Global Equity:
James Harries, the lead manager of the Newton Global Income fund, has left the group with immediate effect to pursue other opportunities within the industry. Harries is set to join Troy Asset Management in 2016 where he will build a global equities proposition for the boutique to sit alongside their UK equity income and multi-asset businesses. Nick Clay, who runs the offshore BNY Mellon Global Equity Income fund, will assume responsibility for this fund and Terry Coles has been promoted to become the fund’s deputy manager to support Clay.
M&G Global Basics:
M&G Investments has appointed Jamie Horvat as the lead manager of their Global Basics fund, supporting incumbent manager Randeep Somel. Horvat joined the group in December 2013 and has been managing an equity portfolio for institutional clients, which he will continue to run alongside this fund. There will be no change to the investment philosophy of the Global Basics fund as a result of this appointment, but the investment objective and policy have been placed under review.
Schroders Japanese Equity:
Schroders Investments is planning to merge its Japan Alpha Plus fund into its Tokyo fund, with Andrew Rose having managed the latter fund since April 2004. The size of the Japan Alpha Plus fund has fallen to circa £29 million which is a level Schroders does not consider to be economical to continue running, with this proposed merger due to take place on the 29th January 2016; subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
Schroders Global Real Estate Securities Trust:
The board of the Schroders Global Property Real Estate Securities investment trust has decided the close the trust following a strategic review of its proposition. The trust was launched in May 2005 and in July 2014 the board appointed Schroders to take over the portfolio management and to look for ways to grow the trust, with a new investment strategy introduced in September of that year. During the 18 months that Schroders has been involved with the trust, performance has been reasonable but they have struggled to attract new investors, with assets under management of £64.4 million.
As such the board of directors is recommending a voluntary liquidation of the investment trust, which is currently trading on a discount, with existing shareholders being given the option of transferring into one of Schroders’ open-ended property funds or receive cash on the sale of the trust.
Jon Rebak, the manager of HSBC’s Income, Growth and Global Growth fund of funds, has left the group after more than 30 years at the bank. Rebak is a well-known figure in the multi-manager universe having run “fund of funds” portfolios at HSBC since 1988, joining their multi-manager arm as a senior portfolio manager in 2000. Responsibility for the management of these three funds will be passed to existing team members Justin Turner, Stephen Doran and David McNay.
Graphite Enterprise Trust:
The Graphite Enterprise investment trust is undergoing a change of management and reducing its fees. Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) has been appointed investment advisors following its acquisition of Graphite Capital’s private equity business. This change will take effect on the 1st February 2016 and as part of this change the trust will be re-named as ICG Enterprise Trust, with the annual management charge falling from 1.50% to 1.40% in the process. To ensure continuity, five of the current investment team, including two Graphite partners, will form a new business within ICG.