Artemis £2.5bn bond boss departs

Artemis £2.5bn bond boss departs

The head of fixed income at fund house Artemis is retiring, prompting a shake-up of the fund management arrangements at the firm.

James Foster ran the £1.8bn Artemis Strategic Bond fund with Alex Ralph, who is also departing the firm.

He also worked on the £700m Artemis Monthly Distribution fund, while Ralph had responsibilities on the £920m Artemis High Income fund. 

Foster joined the company in 2005, having previously worked at RSA Investment Management, ISIS Fund Management and F&C Fund Management. Ralph and Foster worked together at the latter two firms. 

He is being succeeded in his role as head of fixed income by Stephen Snowden, who joined Artemis in 2019 from Kames along with some colleagues.

Snowden will continue as manager of the fund he already runs, while one of his former Kames colleagues, Juan Valenzuela, is taking on the Strategic Bond fund alongside new hire Rebecca Young, who joins from Janus Henderson.

The Monthly Distribution fund is a joint bond/equity portfolio. The equity element will continue to be run by Jacob De Tush Lec, while Stephen Baines will run the fixed income portion in place of Foster. 

David Ennett will run the High Income fund. Both Ennett and Baines are former Kames employees who joined Artemis at the same time as Snowden. He will work alongside another current Artemis bond investor Jack Holmes. 

Mark Murray, senior partner at Artemis, said: “After their long and loyal service, we thank James and Alex for their contribution and wish them well.

"We are delighted to have recruited in Rebecca a manager of such demonstrable ability. Her skills will complement those of Stephen and his colleagues; and we are confident that, alongside our equity offerings, we are continuing to build a market-leading set of fixed income products to meet our clients’ evolving needs.”

Reacting to the news, Jason Hollands, head of corporate affairs at wealth manager Tilney said: “James is a well-respected fixed income manager, popular with advisers for telling it like it is and so his retirement is big news in bond manager world.

"Back at ISIS we were colleagues and he once hit the headlines by publicly stating investors should buy equities, not bonds, which is not what you usually hear from a fixed income manager, but people liked his candour!"

He added: "The move to consolidate the two fixed income teams at Artemis is logical though. Stephen Snowden is a highly experienced fixed income investor, with a well-resourced team in place, so investors in James and Alex’s former funds can take comfort in the fact they will remain in good hands.”

He also said Ralph was “likely to have plenty of career options”, following her departure from the firm.