Veteran fund manager Cowley leaves OMGI

Veteran fund manager Cowley leaves OMGI

A strategic restructure of the fixed-income group has seen veteran fund manager Stewart Cowley announce his departure from Old Mutual Global Investors.

According to a statement from the fund management house, the creation of a new fixed-income team under Russ Oxley, together with a series of planned fund launches and a move to a team-based approach, meant Mr Cowley felt it was the right time to step away.

In a statement, Mr Cowley, who has worked in the fixed-income group for six years, said he felt “now was the right time to step aside to clear the way for the team to take the fixed-income area at OMGI forward to the next stage of development”.

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It is understood that as Mr Cowley has been involved in a lot of media work, and he is seeking to explore his options in this area after he leaves Old Mutual Global Investors in June.

Mr Cowley’s Old Mutual Global Strategic Bond Fund will be taken on by John Peta and Christine Johnson. There will be no change to the mandate or strategy of the fund.

The Old Mutual Managed fund, which will be run by Anthony Gillham and Lee Freeman-Shor, will remain as a fettered multi-asset fund. Hinesh Patel will become co-manager with Ms Johnson on the Old Mutual Global Bond Fund and Ms Johnson will remain as lead manager of the Old Mutual Corporate Bond fund, with Lloyd Harris as co-manager.

There will be no changes to the investment objectives of these funds.

In February, when it unveiled its 2014 results, Old Mutual Global Investors mentioned the appointment of the the Fixed Income Absolute Return Team, headed by Russ Oxley, as part of “ambitious plans to expand its share of the absolute return market”, the results said.

The team, now called the Rates and LDI Team, has 20 staff within two sections. One, the Absolute Return/Rates and LDI team, will be headed by Mr Oxley. The Total/Relative Return team will be led by Ms Johnson.

Julian Ide, chief executive at Old Mutual Global Investors comments: “We now have one of the industry’s most powerful fixed income capabilities led by two highly experienced fixed-income leaders. The changes we have made to our funds will benefit our clients in the future.”

Industry View

Morningstar has downgraded the Morningstar Analyst Rating for the Old Mutual Global Strategic Bond fund from Bronze to Neutral. According to the analyst note: “The unconstrained approach has produced large performance deviations in recent years, such as massive underperformance in 2014, and a high-risk profile, which makes the fund difficult to use for investors looking for global fixed-income exposure. Morningstar no longer has the conviction that it will outperform its peers on a risk-adjusted basis over a full market cycle.”

Fund changes

Funds

Managers

AUM millions

as at 28/02/15

Old Mutual Global Strategic Bond (formerly Stewart Cowley)

John Peta and Christine Johnson

£580

Old Mutual Global Strategic Bond (Dublin)¹

John Peta and Christine Johnson

$140

Old Mutual Managed¹

Lee Freeman-Shor and Anthony Gillham

£190

Old Mutual Global Bond ¹

Hinesh Patel and Christine Johnson

$20

Old Mutual Corporate Bond ²

Christine Johnson and  Lloyd Harris

£550

Old Mutual Monthly Income Bond Fund²

Christine Johnson and Bastian Wagner           

£165

Old Mutual Monthly Income High Yield Bond ³

Christine Johnson and Bastian Wagner

$80

Old Mutual Local Currency Emerging Market Debt ³

John Peta (plus support to be appointed)

$150

¹Currently managed by Stewart Cowley

² There is no other change to the fund except for the addition of named co-manager