Darwall exit leads to £4.3bn outflows at Jupiter

Darwall exit leads to £4.3bn outflows at Jupiter
Alexander Darwall, manager of the European Opportunities Trust

The exit of European equity fund manager Alexander Darwall was the main contributor to his former employer Jupiter having outflows of £4.5bn in 2019.

Mr Darwall left the company in July and subsequently set up his own firm, Devon Equity Management, taking the £910m European Opportunities Trust with him.

He also ran the £5bn Jupiter European open-ended fund, which has remained with the company and is now managed by Mark Nichols and Mark Heslop.

Under the terms of his exit, Mr Darwall agreed not to compete against Jupiter for two years in the unit trust market.

But in a results statement published by Jupiter this morning (February 28), the company said £4.3bn of the total outflows came from funds previously run by Mr Darwall. About £1bn of this was from the Jupiter European Opportunities investment trust, the board of which opted to follow Mr Darwall to his new business.

Despite these outflows, Jupiter's total assets under management increased by £100m over the course of 2019 to £42.8b as a result of positive market movements.

But the fees Jupiter earned from investment management fell by 6 per cent to £370m, while profits were down 16 per cent to £151m.

This was attributed to a £7m drop in the performance fees earned by Jupiter during 2019.

The company also spent £2.4m on redundancy payments for staff in 2019, having spent nothig on this in 2018.

Since the start of 2020, Jupiter has agreed to buy Merian Global Investors. It also announced earlier this week that Steve Davies, a UK equity manager, was leaving the company.

Jupiter's chief executive, Andrew Formica, said: "Jupiter delivered a resilient performance in 2019 despite a challenging backdrop.

"It was another year of strong investment performance, with 72 per cent of mutual fund assets under management outperforming over three years. It was pleasing to see a strong return to net inflows for our Fixed Income strategy, with the overall net outflows in 2019 being almost entirely the result of the planned departure of a key manager in our European Growth strategy.

"Our assets under management and net management fee margin remained stable year on year, although a lower average assets under management resulted in a drop in net management fees and also our profitability.

"We announced earlier this month that we are proposing to acquire Merian Global Investors. We believe this acquisition will both strengthen our existing business and support our future growth, which in turn will improve client outcomes and ultimately deliver stronger returns to shareholders." 

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