Star smaller companies manager Philip Rodrigs is set to leave Investec Asset Management to join City-based fund boutique River and Mercantile.
Mr Rodrigs joins River and Mercantile on March 14 and will take over its R&M UK Equity Smaller Companies fund in September.
He joins the group’s UK equity team headed by Hugh Sergeant, and the hire sees him rejoin former colleague Dan Hanbury who previously worked at Investec.
The departure of the top-performing manager is a blow for Investec. He delivered top-quartile performance on its £642.7m UK Smaller Companies fund in the past one, three and five years.
Investec has been working to reduce the level of new investments into the fund since 2012 in a bid to protect its performance from capacity constraints that can arise from excessive portfolio size.
Mr Rodrigs will be replaced by Ken Hsia on the Investec UK Smaller Companies fund, who has been alternate manager on the fund for the past 10 years.
The Investec Smaller Companies fund is run as part of Investec’s 4Factor team and the firm said that it would be hiring someone for the team “in due course”.
River and Mercantile has been on a hiring spree of late, appointing Neptune’s Tom de Lisle as a director of wholesale distribution late last year.