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Advisers shun Suisse

Credit Suisse’s attempts to provide assurances of its commitment to the UK retail market have failed to win over leading investment advisers.

Following a string of high-profile departures recently, the fund firm held meetings with several high-profile IFAs this week to introduce them to its new global head of equities Kim Goodwin and outline future plans.

Goodwin says Credit Suisse is still recruiting for its flagship UK equity income desk, which has been rocked by the departure of its most high-profile manager Errol Francis and again with another manager, Richard Colwell, following him out of the door last week.

The group revealed that it is likely to switch a number of funds over to its quants team and its £61m Transatlantic fund, which was a star performer in the 1990s when managed by James Abate, has now been switched over to its New York quants desk.

Vice-chairman and head of asset allocation Mark Burgess admits that the company has not communicated the recent changes well but is keen to stress that its multi-manager and income propositions are considered “crucial” to the group.

However, Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says that HL will recommend clients to switch out of Credit Suisse’s income funds.

He says: “It took them 16 years to build up UK income and six months to lose it. Why didn’t they look at their best equity fund years ago? They have never really backed UK retail and I decided that was it once Francis left.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “We are putting a switch on the fund because we want to see someone with a proven track record running their flagship UK retail product.”

Goodwin says: “We do want to augment the income franchise as well as other areas to increase our bench strength and we intend to hire specifically for the UK retail space.”

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