St James's Place 

SJP launches new venture amid fund shake-up

SJP launches new venture amid fund shake-up

St James’s Place has appointed US-based private equity company KKR to manage a Diversified Assets fund it is launching to invest in unquoted companies.

St James’s Place said the new fund will offer its clients the chance to invest in assets that have historically only been available to institutional investors.

As FTAdviser has reported last November, St James’s Place was intent on launching a vehicle to allow investors to access businesses not listed on any stock exchange.

The company’s then chief executive David Bellamy said the "onerous" level of regulation faced by listed companies was dissuading companies from listing on the stock market, meaning there are an increased number of opportunities in the unquoted space.

The announcement came as part of St James's Place's regular review of the investment offering for its clients.

Chris Ralph, chief investment officer at St James’s Place, said: "The launch of the Diversified Assets fund provides an exclusive opportunity for St. James’s Place clients to invest in a diversified portfolio of public and private market assets within a single investment fund.

"This strategy will offer our clients access to private market assets which have, historically, only been available to institutional investors.

"KKR has a world-leading, global investment team and will be responsible for targeting growth opportunities in a number of markets, and will provide exposure to private equity, real estate, infrastructure, as well as private and public credit."

Credit is a form of bond investing. 

Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing at Willis Owen, cautioned that businesses not listed on a stock exchange are less liquid, and there is less public information available, which can present an opportunity for the investment manager.

Meanwhile, St James’s Place also announced it is renaming its Ethical fund. The fund will become known as the Sustainable and Responsible Equity (SRE) fund and be managed by specialist investment firm Impax Asset Management.

The existing ethical fund has assets of £286m.

Mr Ralph said: "Kirsteen Morrison and David Winborne of Impax Asset Management will manage the SRE fund. This strategy adopts a differentiated philosophy which effectively integrates ESG (ethical social governance) considerations, as both a source of growth and a risk factor, into a more traditional, fundamental investment process.

"The fund will invest in globally listed companies which stand to benefit from the transition to a more sustainable global economy."

He added: "These developments reflect our continued commitment to identifying new investment opportunities for our clients and selecting the best fund managers from across the globe to manage our range of funds, providing a tangible demonstration of the benefits of our investment management approach.  

"Our focus remains to provide clients with a diversified range of funds to meet their long-term investment objectives."

Mr Winborne said: "We have two proprietary tools to help us identify companies well positioned to benefit from the transition to a more sustainable economy.