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Aviva’s Dan Roberts to join Gartmore

Aviva Investors equity income fund manager Dan Roberts is leaving the firm to join Gartmore.

Chris Murphy will assume management of the fund immediately with Roberts’ departure.

Roberts will join Gartmore in mid July to head up its £137m UK equity income fund. Chris Burvill, the fund’s current manager will now focus his attention on the £639m cautious managed fund.

Roberts has managed the Aviva’s £458m equity income fund which launched in 1989 since August 2005.

He previously worked on the fund as deputy fund manager and before joining Aviva worked as a UK institutional equity fund manager at Invesco and equity analyst at M&G.

Roberts has played a key role in Aviva Investor’s wider UK equity team and manages a number of funds for the group using an income/value approach.

His equity income fund ranked in the top 11 per cent in its sector over one, three and five years according to Lipper figures at the end of February 2009.

As at March 31, the fund was down -21.1 per cent on the year versus a sector average of -29.5 per cent and ranked first quartile according to Financial Express.

The firm says the transition of management of the fund will be seamless as all managers on the UK equities team employ a common research process.

Gartmore chief investment officer Dominic Rossi says: “This appointment strengthens our position in UK equities and specifically in a product category which we believe has great long term potential. Dan brings a wealth of talent and experience and a fresh approach to the team which we are confident will complement and enhance our current approach. We look forward to welcoming him to Gartmore.”

T. Bailey head of marketing Philippa Gee says: “Dan is a particularly talented fund manager, with good stockpicking skills.  He is methodical and as an ex chartered accountant he has strong balance sheet analysis skills, which have worked to his advantage. 

“We rate Dan and will be meeting with him at the earliest opportunity to discuss his new role. Clearly existing Aviva Investors should be very concerned, despite the group’s prompt move to fill the role internally.  We expect a large outflow of money into competing funds.”

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