Darwall steps back from £7.7bn equity funds

Darwall steps back from £7.7bn equity funds

Alexander Darwall, who has run the £5.3bn Jupiter European fund since 2001, is to step away from the giant fund.

The Jupiter European fund is the top performing fund in the IA European sector over the past five years.

Mr Darwall is also stepping away from his role as manager of the £2.4bn Jupiter European SICAV.

He will continue to manage the £900m Jupiter European Opportunities investment trust, and segregated mandates, however.

His replacement on the funds is Mark Nichols, who has previously co-managed the £4bn European Select fund at Columbia Threadneedle.

Prior to that he was employed at Invesco and F&C.

Mr Darwall said: "I have worked closely with the Jupiter team to ensure a seamless transition for investors in our open-ended funds as I look to focus the whole of my continuing fund management effort on the investment trust and our segregated institutional mandates.

"I am fully committed to delivering the best possible investment outcomes for these continuing clients in the years to come. I look forward to welcoming Mark to Jupiter and feel confident he will be a strong addition to the investment team."

Stephen Pearson, chief investment officer at Jupiter, said: "We are delighted to attract a manager of Mark’s pedigree and experience to this important role in our European Growth team.

"For some time we have been developing a succession plan for Alexander Darwall who has managed funds for more than 18 years at Jupiter.

"Since taking on the Jupiter European Fund in 2001, Alexander has produced outstanding returns for clients and built the unit trust to be the largest fund in its sector.

"He has also played a leading role in the development of Jupiter’s international business through the launch of the Jupiter European Growth Sicav in 2007."

Mr Pearson said the firm's priority in searching for a successor was to ensure continuity of process and a smooth transition for clients.

He said: "In Mark we have identified a bottom up stock-picking investor with experience across the market capitalisation range in Europe and a conviction-based approach to portfolio construction.

"We are confident that he will fit the culture of active management at Jupiter and sustain the strong record of returns delivered over a long period by our European Growth team."

Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services, said: "Alexander Darwall is certainly a very big name. We had met Mark at both F&C and at Threadneedle. He is also a good manager but clearly less well known to the market. He does run money on a similar philosophy and process."