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Crips bids to repeat UK growth success offshore

Walker Crips is to set up an offshore version of its UK growth fund in a venture with Collins Stewart and plans a high-alpha product next year.

It aims to use Collins Stewart’s offshore distribution through a Dublin-listed version of its UK growth fund managed by Stephen Bailey and Jan Luthman. Collins Stewart’s purchase of Keith Bailey Rogers’ unit trust platform in 2000 marked its first move into fund managementThe fund has had high- profile backing from multi-managers, including New Star’s Mark Harris.

It has returned 76.4 per cent since Bailey and Luthman took the reins in March 2002 against UK all companies sector performance of 17 per cent. It is set to reach 100m by the end of the year.

Walker Crips offers growth, income and bond funds and will add a high-alpha UK equity fund, which will have greater small-cap exposure, in the second half of 2006. Head of distribution Paul Hyde says: “The fund will be launched in September 2006 but we may amend the product depending on what the market tells us. We are specific in our top-down, bottom-up combined approach and people are not going to be buying an index fund from us.”

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Ben Yearsley says: “Walker Crips wants to remain a small boutique and are not likely to be aiming at a major stake in the UK retail market. But they have shown they can manage money and it would make sense to use their expertise in the launch of a higher-octane product.”


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