Manager News – February 2016

Henderson Global Trust PLC:

Henderson Global Investors is seeking to merge its Global Trust product into its International Income Trust to create a larger investment trust.  Shares in the Henderson Global Trust have traded at a persistent discount to their Net Asset Value (NAV) despite the board of directors’ efforts, whereas shares in the International Income Trust are currently trading at a premium.  In addition, the size of the Global Trust has fallen to a level where Henderson was concerned the product would be too small to be attractive to institutional investors.

Provided this proposed merger is approved by shareholders, Ben Lofthouse, who manages the International Income Trust, will manage the combined portfolio, with shares in the Global Trust will be rolled into the larger International Income Trust. Shareholders of the Global Trust who want a growth mandate will be given the option of rolling into the Bankers Investment Trust instead, which is also managed by Henderson.


Columbia Threadneedle Global Bond:

Martin Harvey, the manager of the Columbia Threadneedle Global Bond fund, has left the firm after 10 years at the asset manager, where he had been responsible for their Global Bond fund since June 2010.  Harvey also managed their European Bond and Global Opportunities Bond funds and prior to joining the group in 2006, he was a research analyst at HSBC.  Responsibility for his funds will pass to other members of Columbia Threadneedle’s Global Fixed Interest team on an interim basis, with the company in the process of hiring a long-term replacement.


AXA Distribution:

Richard Marwood is leaving AXA Investment Managers after twenty years at the group, where he managed their flagship Distribution fund, to join the UK Equity team at Royal London Asset Management (RLAM).  Marwood ran the AXA Distribution fund alongside Jim Stride, who will become the lead manager, with AXA appointing three junior fund managers; Jamie Forbes-Wilson, Matthew Huddart and William Howard to succeed Marwood.


Royal London UK Ethical Equity:

Michael Fox, Head of Sustainable Investments at Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), has been made manager of the group’s UK Ethical Equity fund.  Fox formerly took charge of the portfolio on the 1st February 2016 to become the long-term replacement to Bradley Mitchell, who left the firm in September 2015.  In the interim the fund had been managed by the group’s UK Equities team, who are still in charge of the Royal London UK Growth fund.  Prior to taking charge of the UK Ethical Equity fund, Fox was responsible for the company’s Sustainable Leaders, Sustainable World and Sustainable Diversified Trust funds, mandates he will continue to manage.


Miton Total Return:

Miton is to close its Total Return fund after assets fell to just £6.1 million in size, making it uneconomical to run.  David Jane and Anthony Rayner took responsibility for the fund in June 2014 following the departure of Martin Gray, which resulted in Miton acquiring Darwin Investment Management; where Jane and Rayner were working.  However, the fund’s performance has suffered under their stewardship and with falling assets, Miton has taken the decision to seek closure of the fund; subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.


Newton UK Equity:

Paul Stephany has stepped down from running the Newton UK Equity and UK Opportunities funds, with Christopher Metcalfe taking on both portfolios in the interim.  Stephany became the lead manager of the UK Equity and UK Opportunities funds in September 2014 and February 2013 respectively.  Metcalfe, who was in charge of the UK Equity fund from 2007 to 2011, currently runs the group’s Growth & Income, Multi-Asset Growth and UK Income funds and he will continue to manage these alongside his new responsibilities.


First State Greater China Growth:

First State Investments has re-opened its Greater China Growth fund, which is managed by Martin Lau and Sophie Li, four years after it was soft-closed.  When the fund was closed to new investors in January 2012 its size had reached £600 million and this raised concerns about capacity, but following market turbulence over the short-term, the fund has fallen to £371 million in size, allowing First State to re-open it and remove the 4% initial fee.