Manager of underperforming £958m Jupiter fund exits

Manager of underperforming £958m Jupiter fund exits

Jupiter has replaced Steve Davies as manager of its starkly underperforming £958m UK Growth fund.

The fund has lost 6 per cent over the past three years, compared with a gain of 12 per cent for the average fund in the IA UK All Companies sector in the same time period.

Mr Davies had also run the Jupiter UK Growth investment trust until recently, when the board of that trust insisted he be replaced by Richard Buxton. Mr Buxton is a fund manager at Merian Global Investors, the firm Jupiter is in the process of acquiring.

Mr Davies' replacement on the UK growth fund is Christopher Smith, who joins the company from Newton Investment Management, where he ran the £300m Newton UK Opportunities fund and worked as part of the fund management team on other UK equity products.

The Newton UK Opportunities fund has Diageo, Relx and Unilever among its top ten holdings. Those are companies most typically held by growth fund managers, while Mr Davies pursued the value style of investment which has generally underperformed the growth style in recent years. 

The fund returned 24 per cent in 2019, it is in the same sector as the Jupiter Growth fund, which returned 15 per cent in the year. The sector returned 22 per cent.

In a statement released this afternoon (February 27), Jupiter confirmed Mr Davies was leaving the firm. 

Stephen Pearson, chief investment officer at Jupiter, said: “We are excited to welcome Chris to Jupiter. A bottom-up stock picker with a highly active, fundamentals-driven approach, Chris is a true growth investor and his style is clearly aligned with Jupiter’s culture.

“At Jupiter we strongly believe in identifying and fostering future leaders and we believe Chris’s proven track record in a period of considerable uncertainty for the UK economy sets him apart as a real rising star.

"While Jupiter’s proposed deal with Merian Global Investors significantly strengthens our capabilities with the arrival of some established names in the UK all-cap equities space, it is important to us that we continue to nurture and develop emerging talent, ensuring we have the right people at the helm of every product in our range.” 

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