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Investors pull £323m from R&M funds after Rodrigs exit

Investors pull £323m from R&M funds after Rodrigs exit

More than £320 million has been pulled from funds previously run by Philip Rodrigs, following his departure from River and Mercantile.

In a trading update for the three months, the firm said £165 million and £158 million had been redeemed from the UK Smaller Companies and the UK Dynamic funds respectively.

River and Mercantile fired Rodrigs in February over ‘conduct issues’ detected by more stringent systems and controls introduced after a Financial Conduct Authority probe at the end of last year.

Rodrigs (pictured) is disputing River and Mercantile's conclusion. He told the Times: 'I dispute the conclusion they’ve come to,' but did not provide further comment.

In its latest update, the firm revealed that fee-earning assets under management (AUM) increased by 1% over the quarter to £33 billion, while net inflows for the quarter were £800 million.

It added that investment performance was negative £400 million, primarily from allocations to equities.

Mike Faulkner, CEO of River and Mercantile, said: ‘Over the period we have seen weakness in equity markets and a consequent rise in volatility.

‘We believe this is consistent with what we would consider to be an apprehension phase in the market cycle.

‘As expected, our AUM has been negatively affected by the investment return in our equities business, but the effect was more muted in Fiduciary Management due to our defensive positioning.’

Faulkner added that in response to what the firm expects to be a ‘more challenging phase of the market cycle’, its recently launched Global Macro fund is designed to help clients ‘prepare to defend market weakness.’

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