Clunie to exit Jupiter in multi-asset shake up

Clunie to exit Jupiter in multi-asset shake up
James Clunie, outgoing manager of Jupiter's Absolute Return fund

James Clunie and Alastair Gunn are among three managers leaving Jupiter Asset Management as the multi-asset team take the helm of several portfolios.

FTAdviser has learned that Mr Clunie, who has managed Jupiter’s Absolute Return fund since 2013, is to leave the company in January.

From then, the fund will be managed by head of multi-asset strategy Talib Sheikh.

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The fund has underperformed its peers since April last year, losing 17 per cent in the last 12 months compared to the IA Targeted Absolute Return sector’s 3 per cent return.

The fund has been short technology, including companies such as Tesla, in a period when such stocks have soared. The tech sector's relative resilience, even when markets saw sharp falls earlier this spring, meant the fund was unable to live up to its billing as a diversifier.

Long-term manager Alastair Gunn will also be leaving the company as part of the changes.

The overall management of his Jupiter Distribution and Jupiter Distribution & Growth funds is moving under the leadership of Mr Sheikh and the multi-asset team. Rhys Petheram, currently responsible for the fixed income portion of both funds, will work alongside Mr Sheikh and team in running the strategies.

Meanwhile, the Jupiter Growth & Income fund, formerly run by Mr Gunn, will be managed by Ed Meier, previously of Merian Global Investors.

Jupiter is also planning to close its Europa Sicav, a move which will see Mike Buhl-Neilsen, the portfolio’s manager, exit the firm.

The asset manager said the size of the fund was “subscale” and it did not foresee a future where it could attract significant assets from clients.

It is also to shut the offshore Global Absolute Return fund run by Mr Clunie, which Jupiter said was the” best course of action for clients”, given the fund’s limited prospects of attaining long term scale and viability.

Stephen Pearson, chief investment officer, said: “At Jupiter, we pride ourselves on the breadth and depth of expertise and products we offer.

“Following the completion of our integration with Merian, our focus remains on providing our clients with the best active solutions in distinct areas of expertise.

 “James, Mike and Alastair are well-respected fund managers and highly-valued colleagues to all of us at Jupiter, and we will be very sorry to see them leave.”

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