Jupiter’s Whitmore given cautious stamp of approval

Morningstar has given Jupiter’s UK equities manager Ben Whitmore a cautious stamp of approval, awarding his £1.3bn UK Special Situations fund a ‘bronze’ rating.

Mr Whitmore has run the portfolio since November 2006 and in the past five years – taking in much of the post-financial crisis bull market – the fund has gained 120.4 per cent, ranking it in the second quartile of the competitive IMA UK All Companies sector.

Morningstar analyst Ruli Viljoen said: “While the contrarian nature of the investment process can lead the fund to have periods of relative underperformance we believe patient investors will be rewarded and the fund has therefore been awarded a Bronze rating.”

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However, the fund rating agency downgraded Mr Whitmore’s £1.9bn Income Trust, which had been under review by the agency since the retirement of previous manager Tony Nutt at the beginning of last year.

Morningstar gave the fund a ‘neutral’ rating, down from its ‘gold’ rating under Mr Nutt, as Mr Viljoen said the agency was “yet to see how [Mr Whitmore’s] style will be affected by the income constraint of the mandate”.

Since taking charge of the Jupiter Income fund Mr Whitmore has led the portfolio to a gain of 27.6 per cent, which puts the fund in the second quartile of the IMA UK Equity Income sector.

Meanwhile Morningstar also downgraded to from ‘bronze’ to ‘neutral’ two other Jupiter funds, the Jupiter Emerging European Opportunities and the offshore Jupiter New Europe Sicav, following the departure of previous manager Elena Shaftan.

The two funds are now run by Kathryn Langridge and Colin Croft and Mr Viljoen said a ‘neutral’ rating was “appropriate” given the new management on the fund.