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Jupiter unveils roadmap for funds post-Merian deal

Jupiter unveils roadmap for funds post-Merian deal

Fund house Jupiter will keep the majority of Merian’s flagship strategies intact once its acquisition of the rival fund house completes, it has announced.

Jupiter said today (June 11) some 40 investment professionals, including 23 fund managers, would join its investment team in what it called an “important step in the development of Jupiter’s business”.

Through the move, the four major franchises from Merian — UK small- and mid-cap, UK larger companies, systematic, and gold and silver — will all transition to Jupiter.

The Merian Systematic Positive Skew fund will close while the Merian Global Dynamic Allocation fund is currently under review, Jupiter said. 

Areas of overlap between the two fund houses has resulted in six fund managers leaving. As Jupiter’s Mark Heslop will take over Merian’s Europe Smaller Companies fund, this includes Merian’s Ian Ormiston.

In general Jupiter said the acquisition would “strengthen” its position in UK equities, adding the Merian UK Alpha fund, Merian UK Small and Mid-Cap strategies, the Merian UK Specialist Equity fund and the Merian UK Opportunities fund to its arsenal.

Veteran manager Richard Buxton and his longstanding team, including Ed Meier, Errol Francis and James Bowmaker, will move across, alongside managers Dan Nickols, Richard Watts, Tim Service, Luke Kerr and Nick Williamson.

Matt Cable, Jupiter’s UK small-cap equities manager, will join Merian’s small- and mid-cap team.

Merian’s Global Systematic Equities strategy — including the Merian Global Equity Absolute Return fund — will also move across, bringing Ian Heslop, Merian’s head of global equities, and his team with it.

Jupiter said the addition of a strong systematic equity capability would “complement” Jupiter’s existing expertise in global and regional fundamental equity investing.

The Merian Chrysalis investment trust will join Jupiter’s existing range of closed-ended funds while the Merian Gold and Silver fund and the Merian Strategic Absolute Return Bond fund will join Jupiter with their respective fund managers.

In the fixed income range, Jupiter’s existing strategy led by Ariel Bezalel will take over the Merian Corporate Bond fund while Jupiter’s Luca Evangelisti will manage the Merian Financial Contingent Capital fund.

Other funds brought over to Jupiter include the Emerging Market Debt strategy and the Global Emerging Market equities.

Stephen Pearson, chief investment officer at Jupiter, said: “We are delighted to welcome highly regarded investment professionals to our established team. 

“They will bring new expertise and different views as well as new skills and long-term track records that complement our existing franchises, cementing Jupiter’s position as an attractive home for leading fund management talent.”

Darius McDermott, managing director of FundCalibre, said the first phase of the merger was “pretty much as expected”.

He added: “There has also been a very equal division of talent between the sales and marketing roles which I think is very positive. 

“The two companies have very complementary cultures and I think it should work well. Overall, the changes look positive.”