US Equity Team Leaves Threadneedle

Threadneedle is losing its American equity fund managers Cormac Weldon and Stephen Moore to rival firm Artemis to set up a new US desk

Emma Wall 23 January, 2014 | 3:38PM
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Investors in the Bronze rated Threadneedle American fund should prepare themselves for a significant overhaul as fund managers Cormac Weldon and Stephen Moore - along with five equity analysts - are leaving the firm. 

Rival asset manager Artemis has confirmed it is hiring Weldon and Moore to set up a US equity desk. Weldon leaves Threadneedle after 17 years and is one of the most well-respected US fund managers in the City. 

Threadneedle American returned 33% to investors last year, and has consistently outperformed the MSCI USA Growth index over the past 10 years.

Recently Morningstar analyst Oliver Kettlewell expressed concerns at the number of changes taking place in the analyst team.

“We think Cormac Weldon, who took over from Andrew Holliman in June 2011 following Holliman’s departure from Threadneedle, is an excellent fund manager,” Kettlewell said in October last year.

“However, the analyst team has seen a disappointing amount of turnover in recent years. Although we are watching the impact of these developments, we remain firmly convinced of the fund’s merits. We like the continuity Weldon brings, given his association in applying the firm’s successful approach to US equity investing since the late 1990s. The fund remains one of the best actively managed core US equity funds in our opinion, and it retains the Bronze rating.”

The fund will now be placed Under Review as that continuity has come to an end.

Mark Burgess, Chief Investment Officer at Threadneedle, thanked Weldon for his valuable contribution to the firm.

Burgess announced that Threadneedle would be promoting portfolio manager Diane Sobin to Head of US Equities. Sobin joined Threadneedle in 2011, and was previously based in New York. The firm will also be upping its engagement with Columbia Management, the US-based asset management subsidiary of Threadneedle’s parent company, Ameriprise Financial.

Artemis has undergone a significant expansion in the last three years, adding Global Income, European Opportunities and Global Select funds to their retail suite. The addition of the Threadneedle team will allow the firm to add North American equities to this selection.

Artemis senior partner, Mark Tyndall, concluded: “The investment records of Cormac and Stephen speak for themselves, as does the scale of the assets they manage. So we will all be very pleased to welcome them to Artemis.”

Hargreaves Lansdown's Lee Gardhouse said that it was historically difficult to find good managers which in the US equity sector who can consistantly outperform the S&P 500. 

"Investors should proceed with caution - once it becomes clear who will replace the team at Threadneedle then they can make an informed decision as to whether they wish to follow Cormac to Artemis," he said.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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CT American Retail Acc GBP5.74 GBP-0.02Rating

About Author

Emma Wall  is former Senior International Editor for Morningstar

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