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By Bradley Gerrard | Published Aug 31, 2012

Axa IM’s Firmin-Didot exits and onshore Talents fund shuts

Axa Investment Managers is to close its £5.5m Axa Framlington Talents fund because it is “not economical” to manage.

As well as the fund closing, Charles Firmin-Didot, who developed and managed the Talents range of funds, is to leave the group.

Prior to joining Axa IM in December 2003, Mr Firmin-Didot had his own asset management business called Sophia Asset Management, which managed Sophia Global Investment from December 2000.

He also created Talents, a French fund, in August 2001 which he transferred to Axa IM upon joining.

The fund focused on entrepreneurs who hold a large stake in their company and who want to assume significant investments to generate long-term growth for their company.

A spokeswoman for the group said the closure of the fund and departure of Mr Fermin-Didot were “two separate events” adding that Axa IM is to continue to run two offshore Talents funds - the AXA WF Framlington Talents Global and AXA WF Framlington Emerging Markets Talents funds.

“As part of normal management of our range we are always looking at funds and doing what is best for investors and the Talents fund has got to a size where it is not economical to manage and so the decision is purely down to size,” she said.

She added clients have been advised of the closure.

On Mr Fermin-Didot’s departure she said the manager had “decided to pursue other opportunities”.

The spokeswoman added Mark Beveridge, the global head of AXA Framlington, had worked alongside Mr Firmin-Didot on the portfolios and would now take over management of the Talents strategies.

Over five years to August 10, the onshore fund was ranked 160 out of 161 funds in the IMA Global sector having lost 27.6 per cent compared with the sector’s average gain of 13.5 per cent, according to Morningstar.

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