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Fund selectors: Pease’s departure is no cause to panic

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Investors should not panic following the departure of Richard Pease from Henderson, say fund selectors.

Pease is leaving Henderson to set up Crux Asset Management and will take his £1.6bn European Special Situations fund with him. His two other funds – the Henderson European Growth Fund and Henderson Horizon European Growth Fund will be given to the current co-manager Simon Rowe, who will be supported by the wider European equities team led by John Bennett. 

The group said it would work closely with Crux over the next few months to facilitate a seamless transition for investors in the Special Situations fund.

Jason Hollands Managing Director, Business Development & Communications at Tilney Bestinvest, says: “Richard Pease has had a seriously impressive career record, spanning almost quarter of a century running European mutual funds over which he has outperformed on average by 0.42 per cent per month.

“While this will see the loss of a block of assets for Henderson, it appears to be an elegant way of handling a manager move in a manner that should minimise disruption to clients and avoid a process of battling against outflows in the way Invesco Perpetual have experienced following the news of Neil Woodford’s departure.

“We’ve long felt Henderson has had the unusual but fortunate “problem” of overcapacity in talented European equity managers, with their line up including John Bennett (Henderson European Focus, Henderson European Selected Opportunities, European Absolute Return and European Focus IT), Tim Stevenson (Henderson Eurotrust IT).

“Cleary investors in the Henderson European Special Situations fund should take no immediate action as the deal is designed to provide management continuity and the process will take several months. Two other funds previously managed by Richard Pease, European Growth and Horizon European Growth are being handed to co-manager Simon Rowe in the Henderson European equities team. There is therefore no need for a knee jerk reaction on these funds either.”

However, FundCalibre removed the Elite-rating from the Henderson European Growth Fund with immediate effect. Darius McDermott, FundCalibre managing director, comments: “Unfortunately we have had to remove the Elite Rating on this fund, following Richard’s exit from Henderson. This is with regret due to Richard’s distinguished track record as a European equities manager at Henderson.

“However, we continue to have a high regard for Henderson’s European equity capabilities. John Bennett, who has a 26-year track record of managing European equities, runs two FundCalibre Elite-rated strategies – the Henderson European Focus and European Selected Opportunities funds.”

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