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56 new FE Alpha Managers named in 2017 rebalance

The latest rebalance of the FE Alpha Manager ratings have seen 56 individuals granted the coveted award but several big names have lost Alpha Manager status.

Gary Jackson

By Gary Jackson, Editor, FE Trustnet
Monday February 13, 2017

Rathbones’ Carl Stick, Wise Investments’ Hugh Yarrow and Invesco Perpetual’s Martin Walker are among the names to be given FE Alpha Manager status in the 2017 rebalancing of the closely watched rating, although AXA’s Nigel Thomas and Henderson’s James Henderson are among those being stripped of the title.

The FE Alpha Manager rating is designed to identify the most talented fund managers operating in the UK today. To gain the rating means that a manager is in the top 10 per cent of the industry, according to FE’s methodology.

The rating examines the performance of individual fund managers over the course of their career, with a focus on consistency, stock picking skill and their ability to generate performance in both rising and falling markets.

In the latest rebalancing, 193 managers have been named as FE Alpha Managers with 56 being new entrants to the list. The full list of FE Alpha Managers can be found here, while the new entrants are revealed in the table below (group by company).


Source: FE

From the overall list of 193, Schroders tops the leaderboard as 10 of its managers are now FE Alpha Managers. Three of them were awarded that status in the latest rebalancing: Michael Scott, Kevin Murphy and Nick Kirrage.

Fidelity International is in second place with nine FE Alpha Managers on its books, while JO Hambro Capital Management and Jupiter Asset Management both have seven FE Alpha Managers in their respective stables.

There’s a number of fund managers that focus on UK equities – the mainstay of the typical UK investor’s portfolio – on that list of new FE Alpha Managers.

The aforementioned Kevin Murphy and Nick Kirrage co-manage the Schroder Recovery and Schroder Income funds, among other portfolios. They work within Schroders’ value equity team and recently celebrated 10 years at the helm of the £916.5m Schroder Recovery fund, over which time they made a top-decile 178.16 per cent return.

Performance of fund vs sector and index under Kirrage and Murphy


Source: FE Analytics

Carl Stick is another manager with an impressive long-term track record. Since taking over the £1.4bn Rathbone Income fund at the start of 2000 he has made a 331.65 per cent total return, compared with a 114.97 per cent for the FTSE All Share; the average IA UK All Companies up has made 111.57 per cent over this time, while the IA UK Equity Income sector (where the fund previously resided) is up by 174.95 per cent.

Over at Invesco Perpetual, Martin Walker has established a strong track record over his time on two UK equity funds. The £1.2bn Invesco Perpetual UK Growth and £194.6m Invesco Perpetual UK Focus funds are both in the IA UK All Companies sector’s top quartile over five years after making respective gains of 86.39 per cent and 108.51 per cent.

Hugh Yarrow is another manager who has made a name for himself in UK equities in recent years. Since launching the £1.5bn Evenlode Income fund in October 2010, the manager – who previously worked on several equity income funds at Rathbone Unit Trust Management – has made a 155.73 per cent total return and beaten both the average IA UK All Companies and IA UK Equity Income fund by around 60 percentage points.

Other UK equity managers being given FE Alpha Manager status include Keith Ashworth-Lord, whose CFP SDL UK Buffettology fund is up 152.70 per cent over five years, making it the IA UK All Companies sector’s second best performer; Andrew Jackson, who built a strong track record at EdenTree Investment Management before taking over the top-performing CF Miton UK Value Opportunities fund; and Henry Lowson, who has recently taken over the Royal London UK Smaller Companies fund after joining the firm from AXA Investment Managers.

However, the rebalancing also saw FE Alpha Manager status being removed from some individuals. In all 38 were taken off the list.

A table of the 38 to lose their place on the FE Alpha Manager list can be found below, again grouped by asset management house.


Source: FE

Nigel Thomas is one of the highest profile managers on the above list, as he is manager of the £3.8bn AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities fund. This £3.8bn fund remains in the IA UK All Companies sector over 10 years with a 100.19 per cent total return but has slipped into the third quartile over five years and the fourth quartile over one- and three-year periods.

Other UK equity managers being hit with a downgrade include James Henderson, who runs Henderson UK Equity Income & Growth and three investment trusts; Thomas Moore, who manages Standard Life Investments UK Equity Income Unconstrained; and Rupert Fleming, co-manager on Smith & Williamson UK Equity Growth.

However, it must be noted that some have lost their FE Alpha Manager status because they were not running money at the time of the rating’s rebalancing.

Angus Tulloch (who stepped by run day-to-day fund management at Stewart Investors last year) and Rosemary Banyard (who joined Sanford DeLand Asset Management from Schroders and has only just launched her new fund) are two that appear on the list for this reason.

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Data provided by FE. Care has been taken to ensure that the information is correct, but FE 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.

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