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Fore!

The present market turmoil must be making many active fund managers look longingly at their golf clubs and wonder "what if", with the prospects of working on their handicap having great appeal right now. 

One of the first to take a metaphorical practice swing with his driver is Richard Colwell, one of the few remaining stalwarts of the UK equity income universe. 

He has decided to retire from running the £3.6bn Threadneedle UK Equity Income fund. It is the most popular UK equity income fund in our database, held in the portfolios of nine allocators. 

There have been two sales and no new purchasers of the fund in 2022, though that may reflect a revisiting of the case for UK equities rather than any comment on Colwell's fund, which has had a reasonable 2022 so far (well, it lost 9.7 per cent but then the sector lost 9 per cent).

Threadneedle UK Equity Income was comfortably the most widely held fund in its sector, and indeed this recent period of underperformance is unusual in its recent history.

It returned 87 per cent during Colwell's time in charge, compared with 82 per cent for the sector average.

The mantle of next most-popular fund in the UK equity income universe is tied between Man GLG Income and Artemis Income. 

Both appear in seven of the portfolios on our database. 

The former is a £1.5bn mandate, run by Henry Dixon, a manager who is a long-term advocate of the value style of investing (he also runs the Man GLG Undervalued Assets fund which is one of the more popular UK growth funds).

That belief is probably reflected in the current yield of the fund being just under 6 per cent (as opposed to just above 3 per cent on Colwell’s fund). 

The latter is a £4.4bn fund run by Adrian Frost, Nick Shenton and Andy Marsh. The yield on their fund is 4.4 per cent.

Colwell’s fund has no particular style bias, though it is fair to say he focuses particularly on total return - like the Artemis managers.

In performance terms, there is little to choose between them over the past five years as the chart below shows.

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