News that ex Gartmore stars Leigh Himsworth and Dan Roberts had been signed by little known outfit Eden Financial came as a surprise. We scratch beneath the surface to find out what exactly attracted them to the firm.
Himsworth and Roberts surfaced at Eden Financial in the wake of the takeover of Gartmore by Henderson Global Investors.
The duo has been tasked by Eden with building a funds business for the firm beyond its traditional private client sphere. They will report to Ed Rosengarten, former M&G chief executive of equities, who has taken up the newly created position of head of asset management at Eden.
The firm is set to launch the CF Eden UK Select Opportunities fund for Himsworth alongside the Eden Global Equity Income fund which will be introduced later in the year.
Himsworth managed both funds between November 2009 and March 2011. He returned 23.55% on the UK Alpha fund and 17.65% on the UK Growth fund in the period versus a 22.82% rise in the FTSE All Share. He was last rated by Citywire in January, when he held an AAA-rating.
Meanwhile Roberts managed the Equity Income fund between July 2009 and April 2011 in which time he returned 39.9 versus a 38.5% gain in the FTSE 350 Higher Yield index.
Commenting on his decision to not join Henderson or any of the dominant players in the funds industry following Gartmore, Himsworth said he found the idea of working for a larger asset management company less enticing. ‘Eden ticked a lot of boxes. Its wealth management business can provide modest seeding for the funds and having a framework and compliance is pretty appealing,’ he said.
Roberts added: ‘It is a business with a focus on investments as it is a private client business, but at the same time I have been given the opportunity to build a fund from scratch, move from UK to global equities and do it from a well established private company with a strong balance sheet. I personally believe my investment style will be suited to working alongside a private client business.’
Commenting on the up and coming launch of the Eden UK Select Opportunities fund, an all-cap fund with a growth tilt, Himsworth said: ‘I want to give investors a broad exposure to exciting companies, but I am not going to worry too much about the index,’ he explained.
Himsworth will seek to outperform the All-Share through a diversified portfolio which is likely to have exposure to engineering, smaller technology stocks and mid-sized oil companies, where Himsworth is seeing opportunities. He highlights Melrose, Kofax, Bowleven and bakers Greggs as top picks and hopes to raise £10 million to £25 million for the fund at launch.
Meanwhile, Roberts expects the move from UK equity income to global equity income to not prove too great a challenge, as his funds have traditionally had exposure to foreign stocks. ‘Broadening the investment universe should create more opportunities to add value for clients,’ he said.
The global equity fund is likely to target a 4% dividend yield with potential to grow over time and will launch later this year.