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Woodford, Buxton, Bolton & Gibbs: 15 big moves in 2013
by Eleanor Lawrie on Dec 19, 2013 at 12:14
This year will be remembered as one in which some of the biggest names in fund management handed in their resignations. We highlight 15 of the major talking points of 2013.
Buxton, who ran the £3.5 billion UK Alpha Plus fund alongside the Schroder UK Growth investment trust, left the company in June after 12 years to become head of equities at OMGI, where he co-manages the Old Mutual UK Alpha fund with Errol Francis, who left Schroders at the same time to run the mandate.
Schroders subsequently hired Jupiter's Philip Matthews to run the UK Alpha Plus fund, while Neptune's Alex Breese was brought in to replace Francis. Both were AAA-rated by Citywire at the point of their hires.
Also in March, Citywire Wealth Manager revealed BlackRock&LSQUO;s Mark Lyttleton had quit the firm, six months after returning from a three month sabbatical. Nick Little became sole manager of the UK Dynamic fund, while Nigel Ridge was made co-manager of the BlackRock UK Absolute Alpha fund. Mr Lyttleton was arrested in April on suspicion of insider trading, according to reports, although BlackRock would not name the individual involved and said the 'allegations relate to actions carried out for personal gain while off our premises and that neither BlackRock nor any other employee is under investigation‘.
Citywire Wealth Manager revealed in April that Scottish Widows Investment Partnership‘s James Clunie was leaving after six years. Citywire A-rated Clunie ran the UK Flexible Strategy finds, and had also run the Swip UK Opportunities fund on an interim basis. After much speculation, in November Aberdeen Asset Management announced its proposed acquisition of Swip, which it said would add to its fixed income and property capabilities.
Mary Chris Gay
In May, Mary Chris Gay left Legg Mason after 25 years, including a decade as an analyst. In 2006, she was made assistant manager on the Legg Mason Value Trust run by legendary manager Bill Miller, and later ran a similar value fund, on which she was replaced by Sam Peters, who has also replaced Miller on LMVT. The group said she had left the firm to pursue other opportunities.
Cazenove‘s star European manager Chris Rice announced he was to exit the firm after 10 years ahead of its takeover by Schroders. Rice said: ‘After 22 years in the industry, I feel that I need a break and the transaction has crystallised those thoughts.” The Cazenove European fund and European Equity ex UK fund are now managed by Steve Cordell.
Later in the year it emerged that Rice had reunited with fellow ex-Cazenove manager Tim Russell to form a boutique asset management firm named Sanditon Asset Management.
Anthony Bolton, one of the UK‘s most high profile fund managers, announced his second retirement in June, following the tumultuous performance of his Fidelity China Special Situations investment trust. He will hand over to Dale Nicholls, who currently manages two Asia-focused Fidelity funds, in March. Bolton is known for his tenure on the Fidelity Special Situations fund, which delivered an average annual return of 19.5% over 28 years.
Tineke Frikkee left Newton in the first half of the year after she was replaced of the firm's flagship £2.2 billion Higher Income fund at the end of 2012. She had run the fund for eight years
Frikkee resurfaced at Smith and Williamson where she was hired to run its UK equity income trust in the summer.
After 17 years at Jupiter, Philip Gibbs announced in the summer his intention to retire. He is perhaps best known for managing the Jupiter Financial Opportunities fund between 1997 and 2010, which is now run by Guy de Blonay. Meanwhile, there was more industry movement as Gibbs‘ Absolute Return fund was taken on by James Clunie, who Jupiter hired from Swip.
Aviva announced in July that it had hired Standard Life Investment‘s Euan Munro as chief executive. Munro, who was head of multi-asset investing and fixed income at SLI, will take on the post in January 2014. Guy Stern, head of multi-asset fund management at SLI, was appointed to the board following Munro‘s departure and also assumed the role of head of multi-asset investing.
Fidelity‘s Sanjeev Shah unexpectedly announced in September he was stepping down from fund management as he did ‘not want that level of intensity‘. He had managed Fidelity Special Situations for almost six years, the flagship fund run by Anthony Bolton for nearly close to three decades before his first retirement. Shah will be taking six months off before joining Fidelity‘s ‘academy‘ in a training role, while rising star Alex Wright will take over sole management of Special Situations in the New Year.
Liontrust‘s Gary West joined the multiple retirees of 2013 when he left Liontrust in September after 26 years in fund management. He left James Inglis-Jones as sole manager of the cashflow solutions team, with assistance from Samantha Gleave, who joined the company last year as part of its succession planning. West had joined Liontrust from Polar Capital in 2006 to help build out its investment process.
Arguably the biggest move of the year was when Neil Woodford, who runs more assets than any other UK manager, revealed he would be quitting Invesco at the end of April next year to set up his own business. 'My decision to leave is a personal one based on my views about where I see long-term opportunities in the fund management industry,” Woodford said of his departure. His funds will be taken up by Mark Barnett.
After weeks of speculation on Woodford's likely destination, in December it was revealed he would be joining forces with private equity specialist Oakley Capital to launch an investment boutique.
Graham French, manager of the M&G global basics fund, announced in November that he will retire from asset management next summer and be succeeded by his deputy Randeep Somel. French had repeatedly apologised for the underperformance of the fund which fell from its June 2011 peak of £6.6 billion to £4.4 billion by the end of September 2013. He has worked at M&G for 25 years.
AXA lost Theo Zemek, its global head of fixed income in November. Zemek was replaced by Barclays head of portfolio and liquidity management John Porter. 'She joined us in the middle of one of the most challenging crises the financial world has ever experienced and under her leadership our fixed income business has grown to become a recognised industry leader and innovator with €380 billion in assets under management globally,' chief executive Andrea Rossi said of Zemek‘s departure.
Edward Bonham Carter
After 14 years as Jupiter chief executive, Edward Bonham Carter announced in December he would be stepping down from the role, although he will remain with the company as vice-chairman. Maarten Slendebroek, who joined Jupiter from BlackRock in September 2012, will become Jupiter chief executive in March 2014. ‘The company is well positioned for growth and it is the right time for me to hand over the reins', Bonham Carter said.