Legal and General Investment Management UK equity manager Richard Penny is leaving the asset manager to join Crux Asset Management.
Penny was manager of the £186m High Alpha fund and the £285.6m UK Special Situations fund.
While LGIM is a giant of the industry, managing close to £1trn, Crux is an employee-owned boutique founded with four funds on offer. It was founded in 2014 by former Henderson manager Richard Pease.
FundCalibre managing director Darius McDermott says they will be dropping the LGIM’s funds top ratings due to the move. “Richard’s resignation is obviously a loss to L&G. He’s been at the company for more than a decade and has produced excellent returns for investors.”
McDermott still speaks highly of the remaining UK equity team at LGIM, noting L&G Growth Trust manager Gavin Launders in particular.
McDermott says Penny’s appointment is a “very positive outcome” for Crux and suggests there may be a new fund launch on the horizon.
“Given his expertise in managing UK equities and AIM-listed equities, I would expect him to fit nicely into the Crux team and possibly have a new fund launched especially for him, with a similar mandate to those he ran at L&G.”
Before LGIM, which Penny joined in 2003, he worked at M&G and Scottish Amicable.
LGIM chief investment officer Anton Eser described Penny as a highly valued member of the equity team and says he will continue to work with LGIM in the short term to manage the handover of his funds.
He says: “The team has always worked together to share research and ideas for portfolio construction, so it is well able to absorb this change.”
Penny will hand over responsibility for the UK Alpha Trust to Rod Oscroft, co-head of the active equity team and manager of the UK Smaller Companies Trust.
Interim responsibility for the UK Special Situations Trust will pass to Launder, until a permanent replacement is secured.
Crux chief executive Alistair Reid says: “During his long tenure at LGIM, Richard has displayed exemplary skill as a fund manager and his expertise in managing mid and small cap UK equities will complement and strengthen our investment proposition.”