M&G Investments is to merge its Global Leaders fund into its Global Themes fund after a review resulting from current manager Aled Smith’s decision to step down.
Citywire+ rated Smith will step down next month as manager of the Global Leaders fund and will leave M&G after 17 years at the firm.
M&G said the proposed merger, which will require approval from holders of the Global Leaders fund, has been approved by the regulator.
The Global Leaders fund has returned 46.4% over three years compared to the peer group average of 36.1%.
The firm is writing to shareholders of the Global Themes fund, run by Jamie Horvat (pictured), to tell them about the merger and assure them they won’t be affected by the change.
Graham Mason, M&G’s chief investment officer for equity, multi-asset and retail fixed interest, said: ‘Jamie has done an excellent job since he began managing the M&G Global Themes fund and the recent changes enable him to fully capture current and future trends.
‘Our intention through this merger is for our customers currently invested in the M&G Global Leaders fund to be able to benefit from his skills and expertise.’
If the shareholder vote is successful, the merger is expected to take place on 25 May.
Horvat took control of the fund in 2015. It has slightly underperformed in the three years to February 2018, returning 35.5% compared to the sector average of 36.1%.
M&G said the fund’s investment process will remain the same and it will continue to be managed in accordance with its current investment objective.