Fund Times: 27-31 July

Himsworth leaves Royal London for Gartmore; Lloyd Whitworth joins UK equity team at Lazard; Carpenter to head New Star property funds as Dosset leaves; McKenzie leaves Martin Currie; Investors gain another route to Bill Miller; Investors continue stepping back into equities; Morningstar qualitative ratings and reports issued this week.

Chetan Modi 31 July, 2009 | 6:14PM
Himsworth leaves Royal London for Gartmore.
Leigh Himsworth, former manager of the Royal London UK Mid Cap Growth Trust has decided to leave the firm and join Gartmore as Head of UK equities. Himsworth, who specialises in the UK Mid Cap equity space, has established strong track records whilst at the helm of the Royal London fund and his previous charge, Rensburg UK Mid Cap Growth Trust. His appointment, along with the hire of Dan Roberts and John Bennett earlier this year, represents another step in Gartmore’s efforts to strengthen their manager line-up. Leigh Himsworth will report to Gartmore’s Chief Investment Officer Dominic Rossi.

Lloyd Whitworth joins UK equity team at Lazard.
Lloyd Whitworth has joined Lazard Asset Management’s UK equity team as a portfolio manager. The experienced Whitworth has been working in the industry for the past 18 years and has managed funds at JP Morgan Asset Management, First State Asset Management, Dresdner RCM, Citigroup and Morley Fund Management. He previously worked alongside Alan Custis - the head of Lazard’s UK team – at JP Morgan and will manage the Lazard UK Alpha, UK Omega and UK Diversified funds.

Carpenter to head New Star property funds as Dosset leaves.
Mark Carpenter has been appointed as Head of Henderson New Star property funds following Roger Dosset’s decision to leave the firm later in the year. Carpenter, who has almost 20 years’ experience in commercial property fund management, has been working alongside Dosset since Henderson completed its acquisition of New Star in April 2009. He will manage the New Star International Property fund and New Star UK Property unit trust.

McKenzie leaves Martin Currie.
Scott McKenzie, manager of the Martin Currie UK Equity Income fund, is leaving the company after running the offering for over three and a half years. The fund, which received a Standard rating from Morningstar, will be managed by Ross Watson, who is the Director and portfolio manager of UK growth and income portfolios; he joined the firm in 2005. Watson has over 25 year investment experience and will join McKenzie on the fund to begin a handover period on 3 August until 30 September which is McKenzie’s last day at the firm. The fund had performed poorly under McKenzie’s charge, ending 2007 and 2008 in the bottom quartile of its Morningstar UK Large Cap Value Equity category.

Investors gain another route to Bill Miller.
Legg Mason has announced that it will register the Dublin-domiciled Legg Mason Capital Management Opportunity fund in the UK. The unconstrained offering, managed by Bill Miller, is cloned from the Legg Mason Opportunity fund which is sold in the US. Investors should, however, note that this fund is an aggressive offering. Miller builds a compact portfolio of 20-60 equity and debt investments and he can also take short positions.

Investors continue stepping back into equities.
According to the IMA, of the £2.5 billion in net retail sales in June 2009, £990 million went into equity funds while £897 million went into bond funds. Yet again, Sterling Corporate Bond was the most popular retail sector with an inflow of £533 million and the Money Market sector experienced the largest outflow of £13.4 million during June. These flow trends point towards an increasing appetite for risk among investors.

Morningstar qualitative ratings and reports issued this week.
Morningstar issued new qualitative ratings and reports on a number of funds available to UK investors this week, Fidelity Special Situations, Martin Currie Global Alpha and Fidelity MoneyBuilder Growth. Click here to see the full list.

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About Author

Chetan Modi  is a fund analyst at Morningstar OBSR.