Manager News – October 2019
Following the news earlier in the year that Alexander Darwall would be stepping down as manager on the Jupiter European fund, Mark Nichols formerly took over as lead manager on the 1st October as expected, with Darwall departed the firm to establish Devon Equity Management.
Liontrust – Neptune Acquisition:
Liontrust Asset Management has completed its acquisition of Neptune Investment Management, with all its funds being renamed as Liontrust. Neptune managed a total of 19 funds all of them will be moved over, with no planned changes to their managers or investment processes.
LF Ruffer Total Return:
Alexander Chartres and Matt Smith, former analysts at Ruffer, will become co-managers of the LF Ruffer Total Return fund from 1st November 2019. The pair will join Steve Russell in managing the fund, with David Ballance stepping down to focus on other roles at Ruffer. Chartres and Smith have been at working Ruffer since 2010 and 2011 respectively.
Russell will step down from his role as manager of Ruffer Investment Company investment trust, on 31st October 2019. He has co-managed the trust since its inception in 2004 but will step aside to focus on his other roles at the firm.
The European Investment Trust:
The board of the European Investment Trust have appointed Baillie Gifford as managers of the portfolio, replacing Edinburgh Partners. Stephen Paice and Moritz Sitte will co-manage the newly named Baillie Gifford European Growth Trust, overseeing a change in investment objective. The proposed changes will be voted on by shareholders at the forthcoming AGM on 23rd January 2020. Their appointment should complete over the next three months subject to approvals.
Woodford Equity Income:
Link Fund Services has removed Neil Woodford as manager of the suspended LF Woodford Equity Income fund, appointing BlackRock and PJT Partners to take over the fund going forward. It was announced that the portfolio will be split into two parts, one comprising liquid assets – which will then be managed by BlackRock and wound up in January 2020 – and one comprising illiquid holdings – which will be managed by PJT to ensure an orderly wind-up.
Woodford Investment Management:
Neil Woodford has decided to liquidate Woodford Investment Management (WIM) following the decision by Link to remove him as manager on the LF Woodford Equity Income fund. In addition to the suspended LF Woodford Equity Income fund, Woodford was also responsible for running the LF Woodford Income Focus fund and Woodford Patient Capital Trust PLC. With the liquidation of WIM, Schroders were appointed as managers of the Patient Capital Trust and new managers are being sought for the Income Focus fund.