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Clive Beagles: inflows halved ahead of Woodford launch

Clive Beagles: inflows halved ahead of Woodford launch

Clive Beagles, manager of the £2.6 billion JO Hambro UK Equity Income fund, said inflows into his fund have halved as Neil Woodford readies the launch of his rival product.

The JOHCM fund was initially soft-closed to new investment in February 2011 at £750 million, but is now more than three times that size, helped by strong performance that has made it top quartile over one three and five years.

Since April, when Woodford left Invesco Perpetual to launch his own firm, inflows into Beagle’s fund have fallen by around 50%, despite the sector taking in a record £500 million in that month.

‘We have seen a slight lessening up of new money, maybe because Mr Woodford is about to start and might be taking some of the faster money,’ the Citywire AA-rated manager said.

‘It will be what we want to see, as we like to invest across the spectrum, including at the lower cap end and we quite certainly would not want many more inflows.’

Beagles said it would be ‘a relief’ if Woodford took some of the future flows in to UK equity income, as his fund had become ‘bigger than we perhaps anticipated,’ and noted that the two funds were often used in portfolios to complement each other because they differ in style.

‘It’s perverse- most managers want more money but we want less so we can protect the product,’ he explained. ‘I suspect our dear friend Mr Woodford will take a bit more in the next three months’.

The manager does not think appetite has peaked for UK Equity Income funds.

‘Ultimately, equities still look better value than bonds, so I expect the flow environment will remain positive,’ he said.

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