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Fears for Credit Suisse fund as Harrison quits

Credit Suisse’s income fund is set to fall off IFAs’ recommended lists following Leigh Harrison’s defection to Threadneedle as head of UK retail investment.

Harrison leaves Credit Suisse – where he ran its flagship 1.25bn UK income fund – to run Threadneedle’s UK equity income fund, taking over from Chris White, who has run the fund since 2002. White will stay at Threadneedle to run a new fund, to be launched in 2006.

Harrison picked up the reins of the UK income fund from star manager Bill Mott in 2003. He also leaves behind control of CSAM’s 400m monthly income and 135m Alpha income funds.

Errol Francis will take over all three of Harrison’s funds at CSAM but some advisers are questioning whether he is ready for such a big step up.

At Threadneedle, Harrison will report to head of UK equities Michael Taylor, who he has known for 15 years since they worked together at Hill Samuel.

CSAM sales director Mark Thomas says: “Errol has 13 years of investment experience. He was number two to Leigh over the last two years and for us it was the natural decision to give him these funds.”

Torquil Clark investments director Philippa Gee says: “I have concerns over Errol Francis. To move from running 250m to 1.8bn in 24 hours is a hurdle most people would not choose to face. I am recommending that investors switch out of the fund.”

Churchill Investments head of research Warren Perry says: “Without a high-profile replacement for Harrison, there is a reasonable chance that his fund will drop off IFAs’ recommended lists.”

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