The joint manager of the best performing UK equity fund of 2019 is to retire.
Paul Spencer is to retire from managing the £1.2bn Franklin UK Mid Cap fund later this year.
The fund returned 42 per cent in the 2019 calendar year to be the top performing fund in the IA UK All Companies sector in that year.
The fund is also among the top 25 per cent of performers in its sector over three and five years.
Mr Spencer was part of the Leeds-based UK Equity team at Franklin Templeton and managed the fund alongside Richard Bullas and Mark Hall.
He has been in the position since 2013 and been employed by Franklin Templeton for 14 years. Mr Bullas will now become the lead fund manager on the mandate.
A statement from the company said: “Paul Spencer, vice president, portfolio manager and research analyst in the Franklin UK Equity Team has decided to retire on September 30, 2020 after 33 years in the financial industry and 14 years at Franklin Templeton.
"We would like to thank Paul for his dedication and contributions to the firm and wish him well in his retirement.
"Paul joined the firm in 2006 as a member of the UK Small-Mid Cap (SMid) team. On June 30, 2020, Paul will step down from all portfolio management responsibilities, including the Franklin UK Mid Cap Fund, though he will remain engaged with the strategy for the remainder of his tenure at Franklin Templeton.”
Ben Yearsley, co-founder of investment consultancy Fairview, said Mr Spencer was an "excellent manager" working in a "great team up in Leeds".
But Darius McDermott, managing director at ratings agency Fund Calibre, said he has suspended the rating of the fund following the news.
He said: "Given the strong performance of the fund under Mr Spencer we have no choice but to suspend the current positive rating.
"We like the team based approach. The fund is one of only two mid cap funds in the UK that we do rate, and its performance has been very consistent over a long period of time."
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