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Fund firms told they should consolidate ranges

Fund management firms should look to consolidate their existing fund ranges before launching new prod-ucts, say two leading investment figures.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says firms often seem keener to attract new investors than service the needs of existing investors while Credit Suisse joint head of multi-manager Gary Potter warns that it is hard enough launching a single fund into the market, let alone multiple funds.

The comments come at the same time as reports that Marlborough is planning to launch UK and US funds this year for new recruit and for- mer Neptune manager Greg Bennett.

The firm’s micro-cap fund, managed by Giles Hargreave, is third-quartile over one year while its UK equity growth and UK equity income funds, run by Michael Barnard, are both bottom of their respective sectors over 12 months.

Dampier says: “Firms owe some information to existing investors instead of just launching more funds. At Marlborough, I do not see the performance of Barnard’s growth and income funds being addressed in the marketplace while Hargreave has also had a difficult year and it would be nice to see some comment.”

Potter says: “I think Bennett is a great investor but we know that it is hard to sell units in US funds. We welcome com-petition in the market but it is difficult enough launching one fund.”

Marlborough spokesman Nathan Glynn says: “All I can say is that we are hoping to launch a larger companies fund towards the end of February. No other fund launches have been confirmed yet.”

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