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Franklin Templeton sets sights on UK market

Franklin Templeton Investments has unveiled four Oeic funds as part of its plans to attract more business from UK investors.

Until recently, the main focus of the company&#39s fund range was Luxemburg but it acquired a Dublin base in 2000 when it acquired Fiduciary. However, the company decided the best way to attract UK business was to set up the UK Oeic umbrella rather than rely on the Dublin Oeic. Four funds within the Dublin-based umbrella with similar strategies to the new funds will now be closed and their investors may switch without charge into the new Oeic funds.

Three of the four new funds – Franklin US equity, Franklin mutual shares and Templeton Europe &#45 are mirror versions of existing funds. Franklin US Equity invests in US companies of all sizes using both growth and value styles and may hold cash. Franklin mutual shares is a mirror of a US-registered fund that has been around since 1949. It is managed by David Winters, who will look mainly at undervalued equities and to a lesser degree distressed companies or those involved in restructuring.

Templeton Europe is a value fund managed by Edinburgh-based Ken Cox, who has been running the Templeton euromarket fund since 1999 and the Templeton European fund since 1991. The remaining fund, Franklin corporate bond, aims to produce a higher income than UK government bonds and its exposure to high-yield bonds is limited to a maximum of 15 per cent.

Pursuing UK business with onshore funds rather than the halfway house of a Dublin base may increase Franklin Templeton Investment&#39s name awareness among IFAs. Advisers are more likely to have clients who live in the UK and unless those clients have specific tax issues that make offshore investments more suitable, onshore funds are likely to be more appealing.


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