Columbia Threadneedle  

Columbia Threadneedle Asia equity head retires

Columbia Threadneedle Asia equity head retires

Vanessa Donegan, head of Asian Equities at Columbia Threadneedle, has retired from the business after 32 years.

Ms Donegan was one the longest serving fund managers in the City. She ran the £612m Threadneedle Asia fund, which has returned 152 per cent over the past decade to 9 July, compared with 137 per cent for the average fund in the IA Asia Pacific Excluding Japan sector in the same time period.

She also ran the £131m Threadneedle China Opportunities fund, which has returned 107 per cent over the past five years to 9 July.

The Asia fund will now be managed by George Gosden and Soo Nam Ng, while the China fund will be run by Jin Xu, who is currently deputy manager of the fund.

Ms Donegan will remain with the company until October to manage the transition period.

She had been employed as a fund manager since 1981, when she began her career at Grieveson Grant Stockbrokers.

Ms Donegan said: “I’ve been with Columbia Threadneedle since Threadneedle’s inception in 1994. During those twenty-odd years it has been exciting to see the business grow into a global entity with a clear focus on developing new talent and building strong client relationships.  

"I have also seen huge change in the breadth of investment opportunities on offer in Asian markets, particularly in the markets of India and China.

"I am proud of the Asian equities franchise I leave behind and look forward to the team continuing to deliver for our clients under Soo Nam’s leadership.”

Ben Yearsley, a director at Shore Financial Planning, said: “I wouldn’t say their flagship Asia fund was top notch. It’s had a couple of periods of decent outperformance versus the sector, but then lost that just as quickly. In fact over 15 years the relative outperformance is only 7.63 per cent versus the sector - hardly stellar.

"I don’t know the managers coming in, but hopefully they’ve been brought in to shake things up and improve performance.”

david.thorpe@ft.com