Fund Launches, Manager Moves and Industry News

FUND TIMES: James Gledhill's departure from Henderson and Peter Hicks' departure from Fidelity were among this week's top fund news

Holly Cook 17 June, 2011 | 3:48PM
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(Correction: The M&G Income Fund and M&G Dividend Fund were not launched in the past year, as previously stated. The below text has been amended to show that the funds were both launched in the 1960s.)

Industry News
EFAMA Elects New President
EFAMA this morning elected Claude Kremer as president for a two-year term, replacing former Invesco Europe CEO Jean-Baptiste de Franssu. The news comes as no surprise given that Kremer was the only candidate for the role. The organisation has also appointed Massimo Tosato and Christian Dargnat to the newly-created roles of vice president. The former is executive vice chairman at Schroders and the latter CIO at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

Fund Launches, Mergers and Renames
JP Morgan Asset Management Offers Sterling Class of Commodities FundHighbridge Capital Management, the alternatives subsidiary of JP Morgan AM, has added a sterling hedged share class to its Highbridge Diversified Commodities fund, which it launched back in March. Jasper Berens, head of the UK intermediary business at JP Morgan AM, said investor demand had caused the firm to offer more choice for those investors concerned about currency risk, given the dollar’s decline against sterling. The fund was originally offered in a US dollar share class.

LV= Asset Management To Rename its LV= Stockmarket Fund
LVAM has proposed to shareholders that it rename the LV= Stockmarket Fund as LV= Worldwide Select to better represent its portfolio. The fund, managed by Paul Kim, leader of the firm’s new multi-manager team, has reduced exposure to the UK and increased exposure to Japan in order to enhance performance. The change will go ahead in three months’ time.

M&G To Merge Two of Alex Odd's Funds
The merger of the M&G Income Fund and the M&G Dividend Fund is set to take place in August, subject to the approval of 75% of shareholders. The funds, which were launched in 1969 and 1964, respectively, came under Alex Odd's management in 2006 (M&G Income) and 2010 (M&G Dividend) and have since become more similar in their portfolios. The merger will allow Odd to concentrate on a single portfolio and thereby maximise the time he spends on research and stock selection.

Manager Moves
Fidelity’s Head of UK Equity Product Management to Depart
Peter Hicks is to end his second bout of employment at Fidelity seven years after rejoining the firm, having initially spent five years with Fidelity from 1986 to 1991. The Head of UK Equity Product Management and former Head of UK Retail Sales is taking a break from the industry. Until a permanent replacement is found, William Russell will act as Head of UK equity Product Management.

Future Capital Partners Hires Manager of Sanctuary Fund
Robert Jolliffe has joined Future Capital Partners to oversee the launch of its new socially-responsible fund offering, which is due to launch later this year once it has been approved by the Guernsey Financial Services Authority. The fund will target a return of 7% net of charges by investing in socially responsible AAA or AA government-backed projects.

Henderson’s James Gledhill Leaves; Fund Ratings Unaffected
James Gledhill, manager of the Henderson Fixed Interest Monthly Income and Henderson High Yield Monthly Income funds, has left Henderson Global Investors Gledhill has left for ‘commercial reasons’. Following the news, analysts at OBSR, a Morningstar company, are retaining their AA Ratings for both funds. John Pattullo and Jenna Barnard have assumed responsibility for both funds. Ben Pakenham continues to be involved in their management and is the deputy fund manager alongside Pattullo and Barnard, with a particular focus on high yield bonds. Pattullo and Barnard also manage the Henderson Preference & Bond and Henderson Strategic Bond funds.

Henderson Makes More Tweaks to Multi-manager Team
Henderson Global Investors has made more changes to its multi-manager team as it continues to incorporate acquisition of Gartmore. Bill McQuaker remains Head of Multi-Manager and Deputy Head of Equities, but the responsibilities for the fund range are split between him, Helen Bradshaw, Paul Craig, Chris Forgan and Tony Lanning.

McQuaker and Forgan now run the Income & Growth and Distribution funds, McQuaker and Lanning run the Managed Fund, McQuaker and Bradshaw the Active Fund, and Lanning and Craig the Gartmore Multi-Manager Absolute Return fund. Further changes to merge the Gartmore multi-manager funds into exisitng Henderson funds from August 12 are subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and include: Gartmore Multi-Manager Active Fund into Henderson Multi-Manager Active; Gartmore Multi-Manager Balanced Fund into Henderson Multi-Manager Managed; and Gartmore Multi-Manager Cautious Fund into Henderson Multi-Manager Income & Growth.

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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Holly Cook

Holly Cook  is Manager, Morningstar EMEA Websites