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F&C offloads Credit Suisse fund holding

F&C’s multi-manager team has sold the Credit Suisse alpha income fund from all four of its portfolios because there is still no sign of a full-time manager six months after the departure of Errol Francis.

F&C initially invested in the fund when it was managed by Leigh Harrison.

It remained invested when Francis took over the reins from Harrison in 2005 as it was comfortable with his track record in stockpicking at Barings.

Francis left Credit Suisse for Schroders last October and F&C was told that star income manager Bill Mott was going to take a hands on approach to the fund.

Mott subsequently left the company in January to set up PSigma Asset Management with former Credit Suisse colleagues Ian Chimes and Graham Fuller.

Credit Suisse told F&C it was actively pursuing high-profile managers for the fund but F&C had concerns about the impact of potential manager departures from its other holdings.

The company set itself a target for Credit Suisse to appoint a new manager but the deadline passed, triggering the decision to sell.

The proceeds of the sale have been distributed across existing holdings in three of the portfolios and reinvested in Neil Woodford’s Invesco Perpetual high income fund.

F&C fund manager Tom Caddick says: “The sale of the Credit Suisse fund was not performance-driven by any stretch, we have held it for a long time and it has done well for us. It has a good team but we did want to know what they were doing about a headline manager.

“We gave them some time to get that sorted. Then we saw the news about more mana-ger departures and there was no further notification of a high-profile income manager.”

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