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AXA Distribution's Stride retires after 35 years at firm

AXA Distribution's Stride retires after 35 years at firm

AXA Distribution fund manager Jim Stride is to retire at the end of June, bringing a 41-year long career to an end, AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) has confirmed.

Stride had run the fund, which has expanded into a small family of mandates, since 1984, three years after he joined the company.

Stride said: ‘ I have enjoyed my time with the company immensely managing these long-standing funds.

‘They have a clearly defined and diversified investment strategy, primarily combining equities with inflation-linked bonds, that focuses on reducing volatility over time, as well as delivering a sustainable income stream.'

Following his departure, the fund will be taken over by Jamie Forbes-Wilson and Matthew Huddart, who have co-managed with Stride since February 2016.

Forbes-Wilson joined AXA IM in 2003 and has managed the Framlington Blue Chip equity income fund since inception.

Huddart joined the UK equities desk in 2000 and became co-manager of the Ethical Distribution fund and Defensive Distribution fund in February 2016.

Mark Beveridge, global head of Framlington equities, said Stride was a pioneer in investing to meet the needs of cautious clients and that his disciplined investment approach won the respect of his colleagues, peers and loyal client base.

He added: ‘He received the prestigious ‘outstanding contribution to the industry’ award from OBSR in 2009, an honour bestowed on him by his peers, and has gained numerous other awards throughout his career. 

‘Jim has been hugely dedicated to representing shareholders’ interests at company AGMs working closely with the AXA IM Responsible Investing team for many years.

'The Distribution team, led by Jim, was also the first to launch an Ethical fund in the UK (the AXA Ethical Distribution fund) - again, pioneers in their field.’

‘Jim will be missed and we would all like to thank him for his extraordinary commitment to the unit holders of the flagship AXA Distribution strategy.  We wish him all the very best in retirement.’

Stride added: ‘This tried and tested strategy is very well suited for cautious investors looking to invest for the long-term, especially in volatile markets. 

‘This has been demonstrated through the 1987 crash, the 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre, post Lehman‘s collapse and the through the global financial crisis, where the AXA Distribution funds have performed solidly for clients.

‘Even looking to the events of last year with the unexpected Brexit decision and election of Trump, the fund remained resilient.

‘With Brexit uncertainty prevailing, as well as expectations of rising inflation, I am more convinced than ever that these kinds of funds can provide satisfactory returns and sustained income payments over the long term and I am confident that with Jamie and Matthew at the helm the Distribution range should continue to generate consistent returns for our clients.’

The Distributions fund range is a part of AXA IM’s UK equity franchise. Forbes-Wilson and Huddart will continue to be part of the AXA IM Framlington Equities UK desk led by George Luckraft. They collectively manage £11billion.  

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