Banyard vows to learn from experience with new fund

Banyard vows to learn from experience with new fund

Former Schroders manager Rosemary Banyard has vowed to learn from her long experience as a mid and small cap investor with her new fund at Downing.

Ms Banyard spent 17 years at Schroders managing mid and small cap equity funds. She joined Sandford DeLand in 2017 and launched a fund which at one point was attracting inflows of about £1m a month net.

But she left in April 2019 after less than three years in the role. Neither Ms Banyard nor SDL have ever commented on the reasons for her departure. 

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With such a long career behind her, Ms Banyard acknowledged she could simply retire or build a career as a non executive director, but instead she is launching the Downing Unique Opportunities fund.

She told FTAdviser: “I love investing, its endlessly fascinating. I am doing this because I enjoy it and have many supporters who want me to.

"Investing is a skill which benefits from experience or, put differently, I have had more time to make more mistakes than some, so hopefully have built a longer list of things to avoid."

The fund will invest in companies with a market cap of between £150m and £10bn. Downing is known for its tax efficient investing products and smaller companies funds.

Ms Banyard said: “There is an overlap of investments with some of their IHT portfolios, and their income fund invests in small and mid caps. There is a sharing of research already.” 

The fund will have an annual management charge of 0.75 per cent, and, unlike the product she ran at SDL, will not be constrained by a benchmark.

Although she had a large team with whom to work at Schroders, she believes her investment style focuses on a small number of companies, and so does not require a big team of analysts.

She said: "My focus on businesses earning above average returns on equity without too much debt narrows the investable universe down massively.

"Then I build my own models and this is the basis for the decision to invest. This methodology delivered top decile results at SDL."