Legal & General Investment Management has hired Axa Investment Management’s head of UK credit to help run its range of fixed income funds.
Mark Benstead, who was also Axa IM’s global head of smart beta, will be closely involved with the management of the £1.3 billion L&G Fixed Interest Trust, the £649.9 million L&G Sterling Income Fund, and the £382.6 million L&G Managed Monthly Income Trust.
These investment grade unit trusts were run by Michel Canoy until last December, when he left LGIM to join Natixis as global head of credit training. The range then transferred to Dickie Hodges, the high profile manager of the L&G Dynamic Bond Trust, who announced in April he was also set to leave the firm.
Benstead will join the L&G UK credit team as a senior portfolio manager. The team is headed by Robert Barnard-Smith, which manages £20 billion in credit via retail and institutional money.
He has been in investment banking for 20 years, was head of syndicate and a managing director at Bank of Canada before joining AXA IM in 2007.
Barnard-Smith said: 'The quality and experience of our investment professionals are key factors in our on-going success at LGIM. Mark brings vast high level experience of the credit markets and is a great addition to our very successful and experienced UK credit team. I am really delighted he has joined the LGIM team.'
Axa Investment Managers said in a statement: 'We can confirm that Mark Benstead, formerly head of sterling credit and smart beta credit, has left AXA IM. We are currently in the process of recruiting a head of buy and maintain in London whose remit will include overall global responsibility for our smart beta credit strategy. Mark’s responsibilities have been taken on by the sterling credit team under the leadership of Graham Nicol, global head of credit.'