In a year of significant people moves in fund management, 2013 will undoubtedly be remembered as the year Neil Woodford decided to go it alone.
While the likes of star managers Richard Buxton, Philip Gibbs, Anthony Bolton, Graham French, Chris Rice and Tony Nutt have either retired or headed for new roles, it was Mr Woodford’s shock resignation from Invesco Perpetual which was the most talked-about move.
Money has already begun exiting his giant Income and High Income funds, which will pass to long-standing colleague Mark Barnett in April. Time will tell how much of this heads for his new products when more details of his venture in conjunction with Oakley Capital are revealed in the new year.
Investment Adviser covered all the implications of Mr Woodford’s decision in the October 21 issue as advisers sought to reassure panicked investors and Mr Barnett set out his stall as the successor to Mr Woodford’s enviable legacy.
Elsewhere, news editor Bradley Gerrard was first to the news of another important manager move when Richard Buxton defected from Schroders to Old Mutual Global Investors.
Schroders hit back, hiring Philip Matthews from Jupiter and Alex Breese from Neptune, as well as announcing its acquisition of Cazenove Capital Management. European equity manager Chris Rice took the decision to leave the firm soon after the announcement of the acquisition and looks set to launch his own company in the new year.
Jupiter reshuffled its pack to cope with Mr Matthews’ departure as well as the retirements of star managers Philip Gibbs and Tony Nutt. Most notably, the FTSE 250-listed manager hired James Clunie from Swip to run the Jupiter Absolute Return fund.
At M&G Graham French decided to call time on his career at the UK’s biggest fund management house, handing over his M&G Global Basics fund to Randeep Somel.
Fidelity’s star manager Anthony Bolton confirmed he was to retire from his China Special Situations investment trust in April 2014, handing the portfolio over to Dale Nicholls. Henderson Value trust manager Brian O’Neill is also stepping down next year, passing his portfolio to Wouter Volckaert after 30 years in charge.
By far our most popular stories this year related to the FCA’s much-anticipated platform paper, laying out rules for how platforms can be remunerated and banning kickbacks from fund managers.
Investment Adviser’s subsequent front page declaring a “fatal blow” for advisers’ trail payments is beginning to look particularly apt judging by the subsequent decisions by platforms to move clients in bulk to ‘clean fee’ share classes, cutting off all payments to advisers and platforms.
Elsewhere, many advisers responded to our analysis of the multi-million pound fines for asset managers relating to client money protection rules. Deputy news editor Nick Reeve asked what the fines meant for advisers’ due diligence strategies.