Skip to the content

Manager changes continue at pace to start 2024

12 January 2024

Trustnet editor Jonathan Jones looks at some big moves that have been made in the past week.

By Jonathan Jones,

Editor, Trustnet

This year has started with a number of changes already for investors in big funds to contend with. The headline switch was Jupiter star manager Ben Whitmore planning to leave the firm to set up on his own.

He leaves behind the extremely popular £2.1bn Jupiter UK Special Situations fund, which he has run since 2006, to set up his own investment house.

In his place comes star manager Alex Savvides, who has been poached from JO Hambro Capital Management (JOHCM), who will give over the reins of the £1.3bn JOHCM UK Dynamic fund.

In turn, Vishal Bhatia, Tom Matthews and Mark Costar are to replace Savvides at the helm upon his departure later this year.

Meanwhile, former GAM duo Adrian Gosden and Chris Morrison, who announced they were joining Jupiter in November to start at the beginning of this year, will take charge of the Jupiter Income Trust fund.

But the news of Whitmore leaving was not the only announcement this week. Peter Saacke, the veteran stockpicker in charge of the £1bn Artemis SmartGARP strategy, is to step away from the financial world after more than two decades to train to become a maths teacher.

Here, co-manager Raheel Altaf will assume the lead on the global portfolio, while Philip Wolstencroft will remain in charge of the European fund.

It is a microcosm of a much bigger trend, however, and one that investors will need to get used to. I wrote in September how there was a swathe of big name managers retiring, including the likes of Bruce Stout at abrdn, Jupiter’s Richard Buxton and Fidelity’s Jeremy Podger all stepping away from the industry.

There is also a trend of fund managers going out on their own. Alexander Darwall did so when he stepped away from Jupiter Asset Management a few years ago and the same path appears to be trodden by Whitmore.

Meanwhile, their colleagues Richard Watts and Nick Williamson left when the board of the Chrysalis Investment Trust decided to ditch the firm. They will continue to run the fund independently.

Manager moves seem to be commonplace at present, with firms choosing to either find capable replacements from outside the building, or promote from within.

Both options have merits. The former generally appeals to fund pickers, particularly if the incoming manager has a good track record, as is the case with Savvides. Indeed, some described the move as a “bit of a coup”.

Yet it also can lead to changes to the portfolio, meaning investors will need to do more research on the crossover in styles between the outgoing and incoming names.

Keeping it in the family, as it were, is likely to provide more continuity, but handing over the day-to-day running of the fund to someone that may not have had to make the calls before is also a risk.

Neither is right or wrong, but it is clear that investors need to pay extra attention to succession plans when buying funds, as there is no guarantee that a manager will be there forever. Particularly, it seems, if investing in a fund from Jupiter, where manager changes have been growing increasingly prevalent of late.

Editor's Picks


Videos from BNY Mellon Investment Management


Data provided by FE fundinfo. Care has been taken to ensure that the information is correct, but FE fundinfo neither warrants, represents nor guarantees the contents of information, nor does it accept any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions or any inconsistencies herein. Past performance does not predict future performance, it should not be the main or sole reason for making an investment decision. The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise.