Guy Rushton exits as L&G closes UK Absolute fund

Legal & General Investments is to close its £88m UK Absolute fund following a “strategic decision” to abandon long/short equity strategies.

Fund manager Guy Rushton has left the company following the decision, and head of UK equities Richard Penny has taken charge of his L&G UK Active Opportunities and L&G UK Special Situations funds.

Mr Rushton had run the L&G UK Absolute fund since July last year, when he replaced head of active equities Robert Churchlow who subsequently left the company a month later. In the ten months he was in charge, Mr Rushton led the fund to 7.1 per cent return while the fund grew its assets from £29m to £88m.

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Since its launch in 2010 the fund has risen 29.7 per cent compared with a FTSE All-Share index gain of 53.3 per cent.

A spokesperson for L&G said the company had made “a strategic decision not to offer UK equity long/short strategies in future”, and so will shut the fund on May 29.

However, the spokesperson reiterated L&G’s commitment to providing active funds, which was questioned last month by fund selectors following the departure of star bond manager Richard Hodges.

Last year L&G made a raft of changes to its active equity team, with Mr Churchlow, US equities manager Melanie Jenner and Pacific equities manager Lloyd Branford all being removed from funds in July before leaving the group. L&G also shut down its European Absolute fund in May last year following underperformance and a lack of investor support.