Citywire can reveal that UK equity income stalwart Scott McKenzie is leaving Martin Currie with immediate effect, handing the reins of the UK Equity Income fund to Ross Watson.
The decision is understood to be an amicable one, with McKenzie spending the next two months working on a handover before taking a break from the industry.
McKenzie will hand the reins of the Martin Currie UK Equity Income A Inc fund to Ross Watson, director and portfolio manager of UK growth and income portfolios at Martin Currie.
He will take on the fund from 3 August and will continue to run one of the firm's three investment trusts, the Securities Trust of Scotland (Ordinary Share).
In a statement seen by Citywire, the Edinburgh boutique said: 'As of today, Friday 31 July, Scott McKenzie is leaving Martin Currie to pursue other opportunities and we wish him well for the future. His last day will be 30 September and he will spend the intervening time transitioning his workload.'
McKenzie joined the group in October 2005 and took over the UK Equity Income fund a month later.
Over the past three years, McKenzie has underperformed the benchmark by returning -30.3% for the Martin Currie UK Equity Income fund, while the FTSE All-Share total return index fell -18.1%.
Watson has 25 years of investment experience managing UK growth and income funds, and joined Martin Currie in 2005. His Securities Trust of Scotland is run on an equity income basis and shares the same benchmark as the UK Equity Income fund.
Watson joined from Aberdeen Asset Management where he worked for five years. At Aberdeen he managed the Murray Income Trust, Jersey Phoenix Trust, Murray Extra Return Investment Trust and The Income & Growth Trust.
Prior to that he worked for Gartmore, where he spent 12 years managing their high-income UK equity portfolios.