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Jonathan Ruffer to take backseat as Baillie steps in

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Jonathan Ruffer to take backseat as Baillie steps in

Jonathan Ruffer, the founder of boutique investment house Ruffer LLP and lead manager of Ruffer Investment Company, is to take a back seat from his duties from March next year.

Ruffer (pictured) will reduce his workload to two-and-half days a week, though the veteran fund manager will continue to have an input into forming the boutique's respected macroeconomic views.

It follows the appointment of Hamish Baillie to work alongside Steve Russell as co-manager on £255 million RIC investment trust. 

Baillie, who in 2009 established a presence for Ruffer LLP in Edinburgh, has previously served in the background on the vehicle.  As part of Ruffer's decision to trim back his responsibilities, Russell and Baillie have been conducting a larger number of investor meetings as a duo and are expected to succeed Ruffer - with investment director Russell taking the lead - from spring next year.

As part of the succession plan Henry Maxey will replace Ruffer as chief executive, who will remain as chairman of the company.

Baillie joined the Ruffer boutique in 2002 and seven years later launched an office for the firm in the Scottish capital.

As well as managing Ruffer LLP in Edinburgh and portfolios for Ruffer's individual private client investors, trusts, charities and pension funds, Baillie is now part of the team running top-performing global growth vehicle RIC.

Since its launch in 2004, RIC has built up an enviable track record - often trading at a premium between 3% and 6% and delivering strong investor returns in tough climates.

Over the most recent three year stretch to the end of August the Citywire Selection trust's ordinary share net asset value (NAV) rose by 50.65%, versus 40.49% by its FTSE World Index benchmark.

The RIC team has maintained its strong record over five years, delivering investors an 80.2% return compared to a 17.5% rise in the FTSE World Index.

No change in strategy

With Russell and Baillie at the forefront of RIC, there will be no change in the investment trust's strategy and a high degree of continuity is expected given that RIC adopts an approach.

The fund employs a similar strategy to the investment house's larger open-ended vehicle, the £2.4 billion CF Ruffer Total Return fund, which over three years has delivered 44.8% versus 31.79% by the LCI Mixed Asset GBP Cons - Global Index and 30.25% by the LCI Mixed Asset GBP Bal - Global Index.

Speaking to Wealth Manager about the changes at RIC, Baillie said he expects to see no major effect on the vehicle's portfolio.

'The trust represents a microcosm of Ruffer.  We do not expect it to have a huge impact on the management of the trust.  What Jonathan will continue to do is be involved in macro decisions,' Baillie said.

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