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Concerns at Liontrust duo replacements

Advisers have raised concerns over the experience of Liontrust’s replacements for star fund managers Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson.

Gary West and James Inglis-Jones have taken on management of the Liontrust first income and first large-cap funds while Anthony Cross and Julian Fosh now manage the first growth fund.

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott is quite positive about the appointments of West and Inglis-Jones, maintaining a hold rating on all funds, but he says: “Cross is a small-cap manager and always has been, Fosh did co-run the Saracen growth fund. A small-cap manager stepping up to run large-cap investments is a different challenge altogether.”

Lang and Pattisson’s departure next month instead of January 2010, as previously expected, has raised questions over asset retention. The pair managed £3bn as of January but Liontrust’s latest figures show UK and European equity assets under management now total £1.9bn.

Hargreaves Lansdown invest ment manager Ben Yearsley says: “I would not be surprised if they brought forward their plans because of this. If it continued, the business would be in a lot of trouble.”

Liontrust says Cross and Fosh both have experience in running large caps through the first opportunities fund and Saracen growth fundA spokesman says: “We wanted to move as fast as we could to end uncertainty for inv- estors but the date was not brought forward and there was no panic to stop redemptions.

“We are getting strong int-erest from both the institutional and retail market.”

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