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Argonaut secures multi-manager backing as it grows 21% in quarter

Barry Norris and Oliver Russ have grown Britannic’s Argonaut European alpha fund by 21 per cent in their first three months and plan a November launch for their equity income product.

Since joining Britannic from Neptune in May, the pair have kept the fund 7 per cent ahead of the MSCI European index and won backing from New Star and Insight’s multi-manager teams.

The fund has grown to 75m since launch and the pair expect to soft-close at 250m by the end of 2006.

Despite receiving offers from bigger fund managers before they left Neptune, the pair said they preferred to build a competitive boutique of their own.

They have confirmed a late November launch date for the UK’s first European equity income fund, aiming at a 6 per cent yield plus capital growth.

Norris says: “New Star and Insight have been key early adopters of the Argonaut fund. Both of them had invested in smaller quantities at Neptune and have since moved their money to Argonaut.”

IFPC investment director Umesh Daswani says: “Norris appears to be a good manager and has a good incentive to manage the money with his own boutique set-up, benefiting from Britannic’s marketing power. He is more active and one of the new breed of fund managers paying particular attention to focus funds.”

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