Franklin Templeton Investments, one of the world’s largest fund groups with £384 billion in assets under management, is to recruit a head of UK distribution.
The role became vacant following the promotion of Jamie Hammond to managing director for Europe last month.
The incoming head of UK distribution will be responsible for creating and executing the business development strategy. This also entails leading, managing and developing sales and marketing functions for the retail and institutional business.
Franklin Templeton has confirmed it has received applications but says it cannot yet comment on the recruitment process. Based in the south of San Francisco, in San Mateo, the group has had a strong presence in America.
Franklin Templeton offers UK investors more than 60 funds but the business has struggled to gain a foothold in the region. It’s perceived strengths are its product offerings within the global bonds, emerging markets and American sectors.
The Franklin Global Bond fund managed by Michael Hasenstab for example, is a favourite.
However, advisers have expressed reservations about the group’s UK and European offerings.
Ben Yearsley, a senior investment manager at Hargreaves Lansdown, is one of them.
Yearsley mainly uses Franklin Templeton’s global bond fund although he considers their emerging markets and American funds to be strong.
“They have been trying to break into the UK market for the past five or six years with moderate success,” he says.
Likewise, David Willcox, an investment director at City Asset Management, only monitors the Franklin global bond fund.
Willcox concedes that the group has a diverse range of funds available to British investors but says it is a matter of “what is attractive to investors”.
Both Yearsley and Kerry Nelson, the managing director of Nexus Independent Financial Advisers, say the decision to recruit someone suggests that Franklin Templeton aims to establish itself in the British market or perhaps reposition itself.
“Obviously, they have been on the horizon for some time but they seem to concentrate on distribution to gather assets,” Nelson says.