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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a733734

Bambos Hambi swaps Investec for River & Mercantile small cap fund

by Robert St George on Feb 12, 2014 at 12:33

Bambos Hambi swaps Investec for River & Mercantile small cap fund

Bambos Hambi, the Citywire + rated head of fund of funds at Standard Life Investments, has moved from Investec UK Smaller Companies into the River & Mercantile UK Equity Smaller Companies fund.

Hambi (pictured) made the switch in his Multi-Manager range before R&M poached A-rated Philip Rodrigs from Investec for the fund, but told Wealth Manager that he was pleased with the move.

‘It did surprise me but it strengthened the investment case,’ he said. ‘It added more quality resource to the team.’

Hambi explained that he had not been adding to the £578 million Investec fund while it was managing its capacity, and while reviewing the sector the R&M fund managed by AAA-rated Daniel Hanbury had stood out.

Over the past three years the R&M fund has returned an annualised 26.3%, while the Investec fund has generated 20.9%. Through the same period the Numis Smaller Companies excluding Investment Trusts index has produced 17.4%.

Hambi has also added small-cap exposure through his Managed Fund suite, which focuses more on Standard Life products, by buying into Harry Nimmo’s Citywire Selection UK Smaller Companies fund.

‘We had no dedicated smaller-company funds,’ Hambi commented. ‘We were getting smaller-company exposure from our multi-cap managers, but talking to a number of managers I decided that there are still some issues with the larger companies, as we have seen recently with Royal Dutch Shell and one or two others, where their earnings are not coming through.

‘The managers that I’m seeing and my team are seeing are still finding excellent value in the mid and small-cap space. That is where they are seeing the earnings growth, and we decided to increase our exposure to that area.’

Also on the Managed Fund side Hambi has switched from BlackRock’s Emerging Markets Equity Tracker into Standard Life’s £296 million  Global Emerging Markets Equity Income fund.

‘The GEM Income fund was launched early last year and it had a big inflow in the summer. It brought it up to a decent size, so we have been able to support that in a bigger way now,’ said Hambi.

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