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Philip Gibbs to retire from fund management

Jupiter fund manager will hand over his Absolute Return fund to James Clunie later this Summer, before retiring in October 2014.

 
Philip Gibbs to retire from fund management

Famously bearish fund manager Philip Gibbs is to hand over control of Jupiter's Absolute Return fund to James Clunie later this Summer, before retiring from fund management in October 2014.

Gibbs (pictured) will continue to manage the Jupiter Second Split investment trust until it is wound up by October 2014. In September this year he will pass over the £482 million Absolute Return fund to Clunie, who joins from rival asset manager Swip.

Gibbs, who joined Jupiter in 1997, made his name running the Jupiter Financial Opportunities fund between 1997 and June 2010, for which he earned the record for holding a Citywire fund manager performance rating for the longest unbroken period (seven years). Guy de Blonay now runs this fund.

In recent years though Gibbs' performance has been more disappointing, posting a 0.96% return over the past three years with the Absolute Return fund versus 2.36% by three-month Libor, a benchmark.

This fund aims to generate an absolute return, irrespective of market conditions, by investing in equities, bonds, currencies and derivatives across the world.

Prior to departing Swip, Clunie posted a 24.5% return over three years with his £50 million UK Flexible Strategy fund , compared to a 2.4% rise by three-month sterling Libor, according to Lipper. 

Adrian Lowcock, senior investment manager at financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown commented: ‘Philip’s retirement gives Jupiter an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with the Jupiter Absolute Return Fund.  We see the appointment of James Clunie as a positive move.’

Best of the decade

Exactly one year ago, Gibbs featured in a Citywire article on the best fund managers of the past decade, with a return of 183.1% over the last 10 years.

In a rare interview with Citywire at the time, Gibbs said the investment call he was most proud of was his decision to remove almost all of his exposure to equities at the start of the financial crisis.

However, he admitted that failing to increase his exposure to equities at the start of the market rally in 2009 was among his worst decisions.

Edward Bonham Carter, chief executive of Jupiter Asset Management, commented today: 'Philip has delivered outstanding long-term returns to clients during his career at Jupiter and I would like to thank him for the contribution he has made to the company during this time.'

4 comments so far. Why not have your say?

MP

Jul 16, 2013 at 12:18

Sadly, more evidence of the inconsistency of fund manager performance. How much is their outperformance down to true skill and how much is down to some lucky breaks and an investment style or attitude that happens to suit a period of market conditions.

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Steve P

Jul 16, 2013 at 16:54

I agree with MP's comments above.

He probably benefited most from moving his fund from equities at the start of the financial crisis (probably lucky with the timing as much as anything) and admits himself that he mistimed the reinvestment into equities.

Costs also didn't help:

Benchmark return: 2.36% return over three years

Fund return: .96% return over three years

Annual management charge of fund over three years: approx. 3.9% (A.M.C. 1.3% x 3, plus any compound effect of annual deduction of fees from fund assets, not including other costs that make up the total expense ratio).

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Ian Lees

Jul 16, 2013 at 21:43

Good luck and a long and happy retirement to Philip Gibbs - he has been a great contributor to increasing our clients wealth.

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CMLight

Jul 17, 2013 at 09:12

I put my 2011 ISA into Gibbs Jupiter fund (as a defensive ploy on the recommendation of Hargreaves-Lansdown). Probably the worst investment decision I have made. Trying to decide whether to move it now or not.

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  • Jupiter Financial Opportunities
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  • Jupiter Absolute Return Acc
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  • SWIP UK Flexible Strategy A Acc
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  • Jupiter Second Split (Geared Ordinary)
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Look up the fund managers

  • James Clunie
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  • Philip Gibbs
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  • Guy de Blonay
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