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IFAs look to invest with LeggMason&#39s new star

LeggMason Investors is opening a new Glasgow office as well as at least one new fund to accommodate its new star fund manager John Johnston.

Johnston is moving to the fund manager from Murray Johnstone, where he manages its two leading investment trusts. The £92m Murray enterprise trust is the top-performing investment trust in the country over one year. According to S&P Micropal, £1,000 invested in the fund 12 months ago would now be worth almost £2,300. Johnston&#39s other trust is the £31m Murray TMT.

Since the announcement of his move, LeggMason Investors says it has been inundated with calls from IFAs wanting to know how soon they can invest in his new fund which is likely to be a UK smaller companies fund.

Johnston will work alongside LMI&#39s director of inv-estment trusts Alan Kerr, who also previously worked for Murray.

His departure comes at an awkward time for Murray, whose parent, United Asset Management, has put it up for sale. Johnston was offered upwards of £1m to stay and other managers have been offered comparable fees to prevent any walkouts of key staff, which could potentially affect Murray&#39s buyout price.

Hargreaves Landsdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “This is a great move for LeggMason Investors. I am waiting with baited breath to see what they are going to do with him. It is a real blow to Murray.”

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