Fund Times: 16 - 20 August

First State Bolsters Global Resources Team; Threadneedle Names Jones Replacements; Ignis Plans Global Tech Fund Launch, and more.

Muna Abu-Habsa 20 August, 2010 | 2:50PM
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First State Bolsters Global Resources Team
First State Investments has expanded its Sydney-based global resources team, hiring Mark Hume, Rebecca O’Dwyer and Rupert Cole in a move to bolster the team’s analytical capabilities. Hume has been appointed as senior energy analyst and is due to join the firm in September 2010. He previously worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was the senior energy research analyst with a focus on the Australian Oil and Gas sector, and was a petroleum engineer prior to that. O’Dwyer joins as a mining analyst and is also due to commence next month. She comes with seven years’ experience as a metals and mining analyst. O’Dwyer previously worked at Investec Asset Management. Cole has been hired from the Institutional and Business Banking team at First State's parent company, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and will be the team’s investment manager.

The hiring shortly follows the departure of David Whitten, who relinquished his role as head of the team in June 2010 to take a career break. The team has since been run by Joanne Warner, who has been part of the team since 1997 and has held the day-to-day responsibilities for all the publicly offered, long only global resources funds in Australia, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong since November 2006. Our analysts have reviewed the UK-domiciled First State Global Resources fund since Whitten’s departure and have maintained its Morningstar Superior rating.

Threadneedle Names Jones Replacements
Ann Steele has taken over the management of Threadneedle’s Pan-European fund following the departure of Rob Jones. Jones left Threadneedle for Union Bancaire Privée's (UBP) to head-up the Swiss firm’s European equities team. His departure was a loss to the European team as he had been with Threadneedle for 14 years and had driven the fund to excellent results. Steele joined Threadneedle in 2009 from Pictet, where she headed the European equities desk. On the other hand, Dan Ison, who heads the pan-European equities desk at Threadneedle, has taken charge of Jones’ other two funds; Threadneedle Pan European Equity Dividend fund and the institutional RiverSource European Equity fund.

Threadneedle Hires Jonathan Pitkänen as Head of Investment Grade Research
In other Threadneedle news, the firm has appointed Jonathan Pitkänen to head its investment grade research effort. Pitkänen, who is due to join in September, will oversee the credit analyst team and the investment grade process. His previous experience includes four years at Aviva Investors, where he worked as a credit analyst. Pitkänen will report to David Oliphant who is head of the investment grade corporate bond fund management team and manager of Threadneedle UK Corporate Bond. 

Ignis Plans Global Tech Fund Launch
Ignis Asset Management has this week announced its plan to launch a Dublin-listed global technology offering, the Ignis Global Technology fund. The fund will be run by Geoff Paton, who works on the firm’s US Equity desk. Paton was previously involved in the running of tech funds at Henderson and Abbey National, although this marks his first charge in running such a mandate single-handedly.

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, including Fidelity Global Focus, BGF Global Allocation and Lazard UK Income. Click here to see the full list.

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Muna Abu-Habsa  is a senior investment research analyst at Morningstar

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