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Jupiter's Darwall: strong City is key to Brexit success

Star European fund manager and Brexit backer says City's strength should give UK government confidence as it negotiates EU exit.

 
Jupiter's Darwall: strong City is key to Brexit success
 

Star European fund manager Alexander Darwall believes the City's strength should give the UK government confidence as it negotiates an exit from the European Union.

Citywire AA-rated Darwall, manager of the top-performing Jupiter European  fund and Jupiter European Opportunities (JEO ) investment trust, is among a number of high-profile academics and business figures behind Briefings for Brexit, a website setting out arguments for leaving the EU.

Brexit-backing Darwall donated £25,000 to the Vote Leave campaign and has lined up with Helena Morrissey, head of personal investing at Legal & General Investment Management, as part of a 37-strong grouping behind the new initiative.

In a blog post on the website, Darwall argued Brexit was pitting 'the dirigiste and protectionist instincts of the European Union against the needs of companies and consumers who use the services provided by the City of London'.

'The City is strong,' he said. 'Any attempt to undermine it would have serious, negative implications for Europe as much, if not more so, as for the UK.'

Darwall said the UK should avoid binding the City to the 'alignment' with EU rules that formed a key phrase in the joint report of EU and UK negotiators released in December. 

'At a regulatory level the UK should avoid alignment, which is not the same as equivalence,' he said. 'The City should aim to provide a better service, not simply one that matches European regulation.'

The manager argued existing UK regulations 'clearly satisfies the need for "equivalence"', and that EU concerns over 'delegation', where shell EU subsidiaries allow investment groups to continue serving European clients from London, were 'nothing but protectionism'.

'Were the UK's financial services blocked from Europe, customers, both corporate and retail, would find a way: the customers matter,' he said.

'Such an eventuality would drive business away from Europe. Fortress Europe would keep foreign capital out and would struggle to keep private European capital in.'

Darwall's Jupiter European fund is the best performing fund in the region over 10 years, with a 261% return. Shares in his Jupiter European Opportunities investment trust are up 306% over the same period.

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