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IFA concern as Witan shuns UK for overseas &#39superstars&#39

IFAs and analysts have hit out at Witan&#39s new range of superstar managers because they are unknown in the UK retail market.

Whitechurch Securities investment director Gavin Haynes believes the Witan board should have opted for well-known faces such as Andy Brough, Bill Miller and Angus Tulloch to manage the mid-cap, US and Far East mandates of the trust. He says the board has chosen fund managers who UK IFAs and consumers have never heard of.

Haynes says retail investors have been left having to place their trust in the board and are unlikely to put in new cash until the trust has a track record.

Close Wins analyst Simon Elliot has criticised the Witan board for failing to take on big names from UK fund management companies.

The £1.35bn Witan investment trust has recruited star managers from Japan, the UK and the US to take charge of individual portfolios.

However, the majority of the trust will still be managed by fund firm Henderson and will have no star manager.

The trust refused to back up the reason for its selections because of legal and compliance reasons, leaving IFAs further in the dark over who the managers are.

Haynes says: “They would have been better off getting in some people with proven track records who IFAs can recognise. The board are saying that these people are excellent but we just have to take their word for it.”

Elliot says: “We believe that the list of managers appointed is impressive. However, these are not household names within the UK and the concept may not be easy to promote to the retail market.”

•Multi-manager, p30


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