Manager News – March 2016

Henderson Emerging Markets:

Henderson Global Investors has hired Stephen Dane from Stewart Investors as a senior portfolio manager to work alongside former colleague Glen Finegan, Head of Emerging Markets Equities at Henderson.  Dane worked at Stewart Investors (previously First State) for over five years where he was an analyst and co-manager of their Worldwide Equity funds.


First State Global Agribusiness:

First State Investments is closing its Global Agribusiness fund after assets under management fell to just £9.6 million.  The fund peaked at £51 million in size during 2013, but it has steadily fallen back since then, with the group taking the decision to close the fund on the 1st May 2016, which will be manged by Renzo Casarotto and Mario Maia until then.  The fund’s closure will have no impact on the Global Resources team at First State, which Casarotto and Maia will remain part of.


Newton Managed Income:

Newton is planning to merge its Managed Income fund into its Multi-Asset Income fund on the 23rd April 2016 as the two products have similar investment objectives, but with the latter offering greater flexibility at a lower cost.  Tim Wilson currently manages the Newton Managed Income fund, which he has done so since May 2008, whereas the Multi-Asset Income fund is jointly run by Paul Flood and Nick Clay, who will take charge of the combined portfolio.


Fidelity UK Growth:

Following a review of their fund range, Fidelity Investments is planning to merge their UK Growth fund into their UK Select fund on the 13th May 2016.  Both funds are currently managed by Aruna Karunathilake, have similar investment objectives and similar risk/return profiles, with the group believing the combined product will make their fund range clearer for investors.


Jupiter Global Trust:

The board of directors of the Jupiter Global Trust are seeking to make changes to its investment objective and appoint Steve Davies as its lead manager.  The proposals include changing the trust’s name to Jupiter UK Growth, with plans due to be proposed to shareholders at a general meeting on the 18th April 2016.  Davies currently runs the group’s UK Growth unit trust fund with impressive results and the directors of the Global Trust hope to use his investment style in an investment trust, aiming to boost returns further with gearing.  The other proposals include reducing the management fees, allow the use of gearing and take short positions through derivatives.

Currently the trust is managed by Richard Curling and provided the proposals gain shareholder approval, he will step down as manager to focus on his other duties at Jupiter, including running their Fund of Investment Trusts, Monthly Income and UK Alpha funds.


Barings European Select:

Barings is soft-closing its European Select fund after it surged to £1.5 billion in size, making it harder for its manager, Nick Williams, to follow his preferred investment process.  The firm has adopted a limited issue status for the fund as of the 23rd March 2016, allowing it to receive new monies from existing investors only.  Whilst there are restrictions on monies coming into the fund, there are no restrictions on redemptions.


Newton Income:

Newton Investment Managers is set to reduce the annual yield target on their Asian Income fund from 135% of the benchmark to 125%, in a move that should increase the size of the investible universe.  Rob Marshall-Lee took charge of the fund in May 2015 and he is also changing the yield thresholds for potential stocks and those being sold, in a bid to improve the sustainability of income on the fund, having already reduced the number of holdings from 70 to 60.

In addition to these changes Newton is also changing the benchmark on its Emerging Income fund, moving away from the FTSE Emerging Index to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, with the yield threshold for sold stocks also changing.


Schroders European Equity:

Jamie Lowry, the manager of the Schroders European Equity Alpha fund, is leaving the firm this summer after 12 years at the group.  Lowry is currently the lead manager on the Schroders ISF European Equity Alpha fund and co-manager of their ISF Global Equity Yield, ISF Global Dividend Maximiser and Global Equity Income funds.  He joined Schroders in 2004 from Deutsche Asset Management as a European equities analyst before becoming a fund manager in May 2010, as well as working on their Global Value team.

Following his departure, responsibility for the global portfolios will pass to Ian Kelly, who has been the co-manager alongside Lowry on these mandates.  Meanwhile, Andrew Lyddon and Andrew Evans will become co-managers on the ISF European Equity Alpha fund, with the investment objectives on all four funds remaining unchanged as a result of this management change.


Schroders Multi-Asset:

Schroders multi-asset fund manager Iain Cunningham is set to leave the group in June 2016 after nearly 10 years with the firm. Cunningham is currently responsible for the management of their global multi-asset portfolios and research into alternative asset classes, running the Schroders Global Multi-Asset Income, ISF Global Multi-Asset Allocation and ISF Global Multi-Asset Income funds.  Aymeric Forest, the company’s Head of Multi-Asset in Europe, will manage these funds following Cunningham’s departure, with support from the Multi-Asset Investments and Portfolio Solutions (MAPS) team.


Ruffer European Equity:

Tim Youngman is stepping down from the CF Ruffer European fund after 13 years at the helm, with management of the portfolio passing to Claire Titmarsh and Simon Mountain on the 1st April 2016; both of whom have worked alongside Youngman for a number of years.  Youngman will remain involved in Ruffer’s research on a part-time basis, providing Titmarsh and Mountain with stock-selection, asset allocation and risk management ideas.