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Veteran fund manager Rob Burdett to leave Columbia Threadneedle

29 February 2024

Head of the multi-management team Rob Burdett will leave the firm the firm with Kelly Prior and Scott Spencer.

By Matteo Anelli,

Senior reporter, Trustnet

Columbia Threadneedle has announced head of multi-manager portfolios Rob Burdett is to leave the firm in April, with portfolio managers Kelly Prior and Scott Spencer also exiting the firm.

Paul Green, who currently manages the Navigator and Lifestyle range of funds, will take over, adding the multi-manager range to his responsibilities.

Burdett has been head of the UK retail funds’ multi-manager team since 2007. Commenting on his departure, he said he would “evaluate any future opportunities within the industry”.

His departure came as a shock to FundCalibre managing director Darius McDermott, particularly as it follows the loss of former co-head Gary Potter, who retired in 2022.

“It will be a big loss in terms of experience for Columbia Threadneedle. Performance of the fund range has been more challenging in recent years, but the team had an excellent long-term track record,” said McDermott.

Performance of fund vs sector over 5yrs

Source: FE Analytics

Adam Norris and Anthony Willis, who currently work alongside Green, will help to run both ranges, but the multi-manager range will be brought under the EMEA asset allocation team, headed by F&C investment trust manager Paul Niven.

The portfolios will continue to be managed with the same investment objectives and policies, the firm said in a statement, but will “draw on the wider portfolio construction and asset allocation expertise of the more than 25 investment professionals in the team”.

Green said: “The funds will retain their DNA in active fund selection, using both on the desk research as well as the expertise from the Columbia Threadneedle Multi-Manager Solutions research team.

“They will continue to seek ‘off the radar’ funds with a flexibility to use boutique asset managers and newly discovered fund management talent.”

Not all were convinced by the changes. McDermott said: “While the fund range retains the experience of some members of the team, we feel these significant changes must result in the removal of our Elite Rating on the CT MM Navigator Distribution fund."

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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.