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Polar Capital on lookout for one more investment team

Polar Capital has not ruled out the addition of one more investment team after recruiting a global equity team earlier this year.  

The boutique hired Andy MacKirdy from Lansdowne Partners and Christophe Williams from Liberties Investments in the summer to form the global franchise and launch an equity fund.  

This increased the number of teams at Polar to 11, a target set when the firm was founded in 2001.   

However, in a statement to the London Stock Exchange accompanying an interim trading update, chief executive Tim Woolley indicated there could be an opportunity to add one more team. 

‘The global equities team brings the number of investment teams to eleven. Since I took over as chief executive three years ago we have added six new teams - four on the long only side and two on the hedge/absolute return side,’ Woolley said.   

‘This is consistent with our original vision and strategy when we established Polar Capital in 2001 and set a goal of having ten to twelve world class teams. Having achieved our targeted number of teams there is no strategic imperative to add further, although it is possible we may add one more team over time and we will continue to be alert for investment talent that augments existing teams.’  

The trading update showed net inflows in the six months to 30 September stood at $405 million, helping assets under management rise from £5.08 billion to $5.3 billion.   

However, operating profit slipped from £4.8 million to £4.6 million over the period as an absence of performance fee profit following a £1.5 million return in the corresponding period of the previous year offset a 20% jump in core profitability to £4.2 million. 

Overall the firm felt comfortable enough with its performance to raise the interim dividend from 1.5p to 2p.  

Woolley was pleased with performance in the trying conditions.  

‘In markets which continue to be turbulent it is encouraging to report continued strong inflows over the period. In particular, we saw good inflows into our Emerging Markets Income fund, our North American fund and our Healthcare fund. On the hedge side it was pleasing to see a return to net inflows over the period, albeit at a more modest level than the long only side. All these trends continue to enhance the group's diversification. Our financial position remains robust,’ Woolley said.  

‘This combined with our continued good performance, the investment we have made in teams and the support functions over the last few years positions us well for further growth in the year ahead barring a sell-off in markets.’

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