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Schroders reopens Jones' US equity range after assets halve

Schroders reopens Jones' US equity range after assets halve

Schroders has reopened its US small and mid-cap strategy for Jenny Jones following a significant drop in assets since the fund was closed to new investors two years ago, according to our sister publication Citywire Global.

The strategy, managed by Jenny Jones, has fallen to its current level of $2.6 billion in assets since closing in March 2011 at $5.2 billion.

'We've opened all products under the strategy as we've had outflows and so now have capacity to open to new investors,' Fred Schaefer, who works closely with Jones on the strategy, told Citywire Global.

The total strategy includes the Schroder ISF US Small & Mid-Cap Equity fund,  the US-domiciled Schroder US Small & Mid Cap Opportunities Fund, as well as a number of segregated mandates, and has endured outflows after underperforming the benchmark Russell 2500 TR index over the past couple of years.

Since the strategy's inception in 2004 Jones has consistently held around 10% in cash.This, alongside a generally cautious mind set has seen the strategy underperform in the generally rising markets of the past three years according to Schaefer.

'The big reason for our lag has been a pretty much down to a more cautious stance and not having enough cyclical exposure - especially in 2010 and 2012. We've started reallocating our cash position and are building on current positions as well as a few new stocks. I think we are getting more cyclical.'

Recent additions include Armstrong World Industries, manufacturer of household infrastructure such as ceilings and carpets, and MRC Global, a distributor of infrastructure to energy firms. As a result the strategy's overall cash position has dropped to around 7%.

The fund reopened to new investors earlier this month and Schaefer said the strategy would close again if it exceeded at least $4 billion in assets.

Over a three year period to the end of January, the fund returned 36.3%. Its benchmark, the Russell 2500 TR index, rose 61% in the same period.

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