Leon Howard-Spink hands over European Alpha Plus

Schroders’ Leon Howard-Spink is to hand over his £1bn European Alpha Plus fund to James Sym to concentrate on pan-European portfolios.

Mr Sym joined Schroders as part of its acquisition of Cazenove last year and already runs the £333m Schroder European Alpha Income fund.

The management change will see the European Alpha Plus fund adopt the ‘business cycle’ philosophy which drives Mr Sym’s existing fund and several of the other equity products transferred from Cazenove. He will take over from Mr Howard-Spink on June 1.

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Mr Howard-Spink will continue to run a number of pan-European funds, which include UK exposure, including the Luxembourg-domiciled €1.9bn Schroder ISF European Special Situations fund.

Schroders head of investment Peter Harrison said: “James has a very strong track record an unconstrained investment approach consistent with client expectations for an Alpha Plus fund, and is already well known in the UK.

“Leon fully supports this decision which is consistent with his desire to focus his efforts on managing his pan-European equity portfolios. James and Leon will work together from now until the changes come into effect on June 1 to ensure a smooth transition takes place.”

It is the latest in a series of changes to the Alpha Plus range of funds at Schroders. Philip Matthews was hired last year to run the Schroder UK Alpha Plus fund following the departure of Richard Buxton, while the Schroder US Alpha Plus fund was shut due to its small size.

In addition, Global Alpha Plus fund manager Virginie Maisonneuve exited the group in October to move to Pimco, with Simon Webber taking on the portfolio.