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Bedlam Asset Management to close after CIO departure

Bedlam Asset Management, which launched in 2002 with performance-related fees at the core of its pricing, is to wind down following the departure of its chief investment officer.

The firm plans to close its doors after CIO Ian McCallum moved to Fullerton Fund Management in Singapore “without warning”. This prompted an automatic review by a consulting firm whose clients account for over 40 per cent of Bedlam’s assets under management.

After the consultant revised their assessment of the firm to ‘sell’, Bedlam noted many clients are not permitted to invest in managers with such ratings, whether this is “warranted or not”.

Bedlam says: “The result is a considerable net outflow is expected, whilst potential new clients are almost certain to delay any investment decision. The consequences would be a material fall in fee income, with resultant losses at an unacceptable level.

“Thus although the reception from existing clients to recent performance has been universally good, and that from prospective investors better than for several years, the company now has almost no chance of achieving a sustainable critical mass.”

Bedlam has three funds: Jonathan Compton and Felicity Smith’s £31.6m Global fund, Smith and Richard Greenwood’s £14.9m Global Income fund and Greenwood and Andrew Duncan’s £5.2m Emerging Markets fund. It closed three of its funds in June in a bid to concentrate on global equity strategies.

Bestinvest managing director Jason Hollands says: “While none of the funds have ever appeared on our radar, the firm’s commentaries from founder Jonathan Compton have always been an engaging read. For that at least they will be missed.”

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