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Give Francis a chance, says Chartwell

Errol Francis deserves a chance to prove himself on Credit Suisse’s equity income fund following the departure of manager Leigh Harrison, says IFA Chartwell.

Investment manager Ryan Hughes says the outspoken opinions of several industry commentators that investors should move their money are unfair. He says Francis’s record on the UK growth and income fund at Credit Suisse has been strong, with the fund lying at 31st out of 171 in the sector since he took over in April 2004.

His performance over the period beats respected managers, including Schroders’ Richard Buxton and Andy Brough, HSBC’s Tim Russell and Jupiter’s Edward Bonham-Carter.

Harrison quit Credit Suisse last week to head up UK equities at Threadneedle.

Hughes says: “I accept that Francis has yet to prove himself running an equity income fund but to claim he is not up to the job when he has clearly delivered some strong performance seems to be show- ing him a lack of respect. I wonder what my esteemed ind- ustry colleagues want from Errol Francis before they think he is any good?”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “I am not showing any disrespect to Errol. We have put the fund on hold and I am seeing him next week. The point is that if investors are unhappy, there are guys like Adrian Frost and Tony Nutt with 10 to 15- year great track records that he just does not have.”

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