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BlackRock’s sleeping dog could take lead

BlackRock managing director Alex Hoctor-Duncan says the firm’s UK equity income fund is the sleeping dog of the sector.

He says the fund, which is managed by Nick McLeod-Clarke, is starting to gather a big following in the IFA market and is producing results that indicate it can challenge some of the leaders in the sector.

McLeod-Clarke took on the £200m fund in February 2007 and it is top-quartile over one, three and five years, according to Morningstar.

Hoctor-Duncan says: “Advisers are starting to notice the sort of figures we are producing on the fund. We took time to get the process right when Nick came in and that decision is now starting to pay off in terms of identifying with IFAs.”

He has also confirmed the firm’s intention to add to its fixed-income range this year. The range consists of a high-income bond, government securities and a global bond fund, so an unconstrained product is believed to the likely addition.

Hoctor-Duncan says: “We intend to be meticulous in our product planning but it will happen this year as the skill set that we have in fixed income is so strong.”

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Meera Patel says: “The trouble that BlackRock has is that UK equity income is so competitive. It may be that you need to be top-decile to get noticed.”

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