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M&G planning to merge UK funds to cut overlap

M&G is planning to cut its UK equity fund range from six to four to remove overlap between portfolios.

Subject to shareholder approval, it will merge the Tom Dobell-managed £399m British opportunities fund into the recovery fund, also run by Dobell, creating a £2.1bn giant.

M&G is looking to merge the UK growth and UK strategic growth funds run by Simon Murphy into a single £630m UK growth portfolio.

The UK select fund, run by Mike Felton, and its index tracker will not be affected and M&G says this will provide IFAs and investors with a range of four distinct mandates.

Dobell says there is 95 per cent overlap between the two funds he manages and liquidity will not be a problem as around 75 per cent of the holdings are in large and mid caps and he tends to favour holding stocks for the long term. Murphy’s funds have similar levels of overlap.

Managing director UK sales Jonathan Willcocks says: “These proposals are designed to remove overlap and duplication across our UK equity fund range. Simon Murphy manages his two funds on a virtually identical basis, as does Tom Dobell, so it makes sense both for clients and for the fund managers if they are merged into combined portfolios.”

Planinvest managing director Michael Owen says: “This is a sensible move for the long-term business plan of M&G. The managers of these funds are their key people so it is good for them to rationalise.”

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