January Proves Transfer Window for Fund Managers

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Last month saw several high-profile fund manager moves plus a range of new fund launches, including several high-tech ETFs

Emma Simon 1 February, 2018 | 7:31AM
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Every January, football clubs spend millions signing up players from rival teams. And this month saw a similar transfer winder in the fund management industry, with high-profile manager moves, resignations and retirements.

January also proved a busy time of year for fund launches, with asset managers trying to attract new ISA money before the end of the tax year in April. As of this month, investors have new options to choose from, including a climate change tracker fund, new technology ETFs and a multi-asset investment.

Smith & Williamson Loses Two Income Managers

Tineke Frikkee, one of the highest profile female funds managers, left Smith & Williamson in last month, while fixed interest manager John Anderson announced his retirement.

Frikkee has run Smith & Williamson’s UK Equity Income fund for three and a half years, prior to which she ran Newton’s flagship Higher Income fund.

Frikkee’s co-manager Mark Swain will now take over the running of this equity income fund, which has underperformed peers in recent years.

Anderson is retiring after a four-year stint with Smith & Williamson. He has previously run bond funds for both JP Morgan and Gartmore. Ian Kenny, the group’s head of fixed income will take up the reins on Anderson fixed interest fund.

Crux Poaches L&G Manager

Crux Asset Management has poached long-standing L&G fund manager Richard Penny. Penny ran L&G’s UK Special Situations fund and its UK Alpha Trust.

L&G said that Rod Oscrof will take over the management of the UK Alpha Trust, while Gavin Launder has been named as interim manager on the UK Special Situations Trust, until a permanent manager is appointed.

Crux Asset Management is a relatively new name in the fund management industry. It was established in 2014 by Richard Pease and James Milne both previously of Henderson.

JP Morgan Launches Multi-Asset Trust

JP Morgan has launched a new Multi-Asset investment trust (MATE), aimed at delivering both income and capital growth. It will target a return of 6% a year, after charges, and will aim to pay an initial quarterly dividend of 4%.

Talib Sheikh is the lead manager on the trust, which will invest in six different asset classes across more than forty countries. This is the first multi-asset trust JP Morgan has launched in the UK, although it runs the €24 billion Global Income Investment Trust in Europe.

Charges will be 0.65% of net asset value up to £250 million, and then 0.6% once the trust’s assets exceed this value. There will be no performance fee. 

Henderson Duo to Run Schroder UK Alpha Plus Fund

Fund managers Bill Casey and Nick Kissack are set to take over the running of Schroders £983 million UK Alpha Plus Fund. The pair will be co-managers of the fund when they join in February, with a view to taking up the reins from March. The pair resigned from Janus Henderson in November last year.

The current manager of the fund, Philip Matthews, will focus solely on running the closed-end Schroder UK Growth Fund (SDU) from March, which he has run since October 2014. Matthews took over the UK Alpha Plus fund after the departure of star fund manager Richard Buxton in 2013.

New Climate Change Tracker Fund

Legal & General Investment Management has launched a new Future World tracker for retail investors. This unit trust will track the FTSE’s All World Climate Balance index, which avoids companies with worse-than-average carbon emissions or fossil fuel use. The fund will sit in the IA Global sector, and has an ongoing charge of 0.3%.

LGIM chief executive Anton Eser says: “We are on the path to a low-carbon economy and companies that fail to respond to this reality present a risk to investors’ portfolios.”

ETF Securities Launches Specialist Tech ETFs

ETF Securities has launched three new technology-based ETFs, all of which are listed on the London Stock Exchange. The first is the ETFS Battery Value-Chain ETF (BATT). This will invest in companies that are developing advanced batteries and fuel cells, as well as the mining companies that provide the metals used in these batteries. The global market for these “advanced” batteries is expected to grow from $22.7 billion in 2016 to $32.8 billion by 2022.

The second is the ETFS Pharma Breakthrough ETF (BIOT) which tracks companies engaged in the research and development of drugs used to treat rare diseases.

The third is the ETFS Ecommerce Logistics ETF (ECOM) which, as the name suggest, follows logistic service providers and technology companies active in ecommerce.

The firm already offers a robotics and automation ETF, which last November announced it has more than $1 billion in assets under management.

All three new ETFs will have a total expense ratio of 0.75%. These funds will transfer from ETF Securities to LGIM later this quarter, after the asset manager bought this ETF platform.  

Old Mutual Closes African Fund

There may have been a flurry of fund launches this month, but there was also a closure announced too. Old Mutual will be closing its Pan African fund at the end of February, after saying it had become too small to be a viable investment. The firm said there were limited prospects for boosting future assets and said it was in the best interests of shareholders to close down the fund. It had around $53 million of assets under management. The fund was launched in December 2014. It is run by Cavan Osborne.

Liontrust Fund Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

Liontrust Asset Management’s UK Smaller Companies fund celebrated its 20-year anniversary last month, during which the fund has been run by the same manager Anthony Cross. Chief executive John Ions described this as a “rare achievement,” and said the success of the fund was testament to Cross’s investment process. The fund has a Bronze Rating from Morningstar analysts.


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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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Baillie Gifford UK Growth Trust Ord175.00 GBX-0.57Rating
BNY Mellon Global High Yield Bd B Inc0.75 GBP0.04Rating
L&G Battery Value-Chain ETF17.91 USD-0.33
L&G Ecommerce Logistics ETF16.16 USD-0.42Rating
L&G Pharma Breakthrough ETF9.68 USD-1.13Rating
Liontrust UK Smaller Companies I Inc1,901.13 GBP0.29Rating
Schroder UK Alpha Plus Z Acc1.03 GBP-0.76Rating

About Author

Emma Simon

Emma Simon  is a financial journalist, specialising in investment and consumer issues, writing for Morningstar.co.uk

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