Investments  

“I’m going to be putting more of my own money in this fund”

After a 10-month break from running money, Jason Pidcock is preparing to return to fund management on March 2 with the launch of the Jupiter Asian Income fund. His enforced hiatus follows an 11-year stint at BNY Mellon-owned Newton Investment Management.

By the time he resigned his position at the firm in May last year, his Newton Asian Income fund had reached £4.4bn in size. It has since seen outflows of £2bn, which suggests investors are preparing to follow Mr Pidcock to Jupiter Asset Management. However, he is quick to point out he has only met investors in his former fund who have requested to see him.

He explains: “A lot of the investors that have asked to see me are actually underweight Asia, so quite a bit of the money coming in will be money being redirected to Asia. People who are now a bit more willing to go to a neutral position having been underweight for some time because valuations look more appealing than they did nine months ago, so I actually think that will be a reasonable chunk of it. There might be new clients who didn’t invest with me previously and there could be people who switch out of other funds.”

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Indeed, at the time of this interview in mid-February, Mr Pidcock had his own application form for the fund on his desk, “ready to be posted”.

“I’m going to be putting a lot more of my own money in this fund than I ever have before,” he says, in a vote of confidence for investors in his new strategy.

The manager is the first to acknowledge his timing is fortuitous, “having now had nine months of market declines behind me, I think it’s difficult to think of a better time to launch the fund”. But he admits to feeling cautious on markets – China in particular – at the time he left Newton.

“I felt if I was going to move, that would be a reasonable time to make the switch,” he suggests. “I resigned on May 11, which was very close to the top of the universe that I cover and indeed global equities. Obviously I was very aware that I was managing a lot of money on behalf of a lot of people. But I don’t change a lot, I’d been at Newton for 11 years so it’s not something I do regularly but I felt it made sense to come somewhere where I was much more comfortable and if investors choose to follow me then great.

“That’s the beauty of an open-ended fund, people are able to take their money out if they choose to do so, they’re not trapped,” he adds.

So which came first, leaving Newton or joining Jupiter? Mr Pidcock replies: “I started thinking about what kind of company I really wanted to work for and hopefully seeing out the rest of my career at, and so I did think about style of management, corporate structure, growth prospects, the people that I would be working with.