JPMorgan merges funds as consultation closes

JPMorgan Asset Management is merging away underperforming UK and emerging markets funds following a period of consultation.

The £272.6m UK Equity fund is being merged into the £5.8m UK Strategic Growth fund. Both funds are headed by a management team run by Ian Butler and Ben Stapley.

The funds are both benchmarked to the FTSE All-Share index and aim to provide long term capital growth but until now were managed with a different investment style.

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At the same time, Richard Titherington’s £17m Emerging Market Infrastructure fund is to merge into Austin Forey and Leon Eidelman’s £1.1bn Emerging Markets fund, as it did not see sufficient investor demand.

Elsewhere, the Institutional Balanced fund is to be relaunched as a retail proposition which will be named the Balanced Managed fund. Manager Talib Sheikh can now invest directly in assets, giving greater accountability at stock level, the company said.

The Balanced Managed fund will have a composite benchmark made up of the MSCI World index and the JPMorgan Government Bond Index Global.

Mike Parsons, head of UK fund sales at JPMorgan Asset Management, said: “It’s a strategic review of the overall fund range and this is the next stage in that process. We are constantly making sure the range is suitable.”

The closures mark the end of a a strategic review of the overall fund range which has already resulted in the closure of the JPMorgan Global Mining fund and the Balanced Total Return fund.

The changes are subject to a shareholder vote on August 16, and if approved they will become effective on August 31.