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Merger to bring fund changes

MitonOptimal says the combined Iimia MitonOptimal group must differentiate the funds in its range as it will have three funds in each of the IMA active, balanced and cautious managed sectors.

MitonOptimal favours making changes to the funds where necessary rather than reducing the number of funds because it claims that individual fund managers do not want to lose their funds.

The companies are working together on a brand name for the merged group, initially to be known as Iimia MitonOptimal, but a final decision has yet to be made.

In the run-up to the merger, MitonOptimal is continuing to look for opportunities to diversify its Arcturus fund. Fund manager Tom McGrath has recently added the EEA Life Settlements fund and Belgravia China, a Chinese commercial property fund, to the portfolio.

The EEA life settlements fund invests in US life insurance policies where the insured has an impaired life expectancy.

McGrath concedes that this is an ethically sensitive area because the fund benefits from people dying earlier than expected. Although he says the flip side to this is that life settlements allow policyholders to release cash and enjoy the benefits of the policy payouts during their lifetime.

McGrath says: “The principal reason we are holding the life settlements fund is its lack of correlation to equities. It is another asset class with target returns of about 10 per cent a year, irrespective of equity markets.”

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