The sentiment attributed to me was unfortunately miscommunicated, changing the sentiment of the overall report which we put together following many hours of discussions with the Merlin team.
It is clear to us that while the lead managers are strong independent thinkers, they also form a solid unit - having worked closely together since 1999. Their joint commitment and enthusiasm for what they do was clear for us to see during our meetings.
Managing over £9bn in assets under management as they do means that the pressure on them to maintain good levels of performance remains considerable. However, what is also evident is that they all share what can best be described as ‘a competitive spirit’ when it comes to performance. The working environment at Jupiter remains highly supportive and the level of interaction between the team and other Jupiter managers is significant too. The team is therefore important to, and deeply embedded within the Jupiter business.
At 51, John Chatfeild-Roberts is the oldest member of the team – hardly close to retirement age for someone who clearly relishes working in the fund management business. Also, as stated in our report, while we are comforted by the fact that long term succession plans are in train, it is evident to us that they are not planning on going anywhere.