The official launch of New Star Asset Management last week was perhaps the
most hotly anticipated event in the fund management industry for over a
As founder John Duffield was quick to point out, no fund manager has ever
started with such momentum or the confidence to claim that they will be a
major player from the start.
But New Star will still have to work hard to capture the support of IFAs.
While most recognise that Duffield has both the resources and ability to
create a successful fund management business, the setting is now very
different to when he established Jupiter 16 years ago.
He set up Jupiter as an entrepreneur in his mid to late 40s. He is now 63
and aspires to be bigger than Jupiter.
Furthermore, not all IFAs are completely sold on the star fund manager
culture, which New Star is set to foster. With no benchmarks and no
constraints, there is a degree of extra risk to every fund which, although
often worth it, can backfire.
Last month, Invesco Perp-etual star European fund manager Rory Powe told
how he had made some bad decisions during the tech boom last year.
He admits that some inv-estors who got in at the top will take three years
to rec-over from the poor performance which followed.
Nevertheless, Duffield has built an impressive team around him. Richard
Pease and Alan Miller are two of the best known European and UK fund
managers and their rec-ords so far are exemplary. If Duffield can continue
to rec-ruit managers with such high a profile as these two men – which he
says he will do without poaching from Jupiter – IFAs will find it hard to
ignore New Star.
In Mark Skinner, Mark Hilliam, Greg Jones and Rob Page, Duffield also has
a very strong sales and marketing force. All have extensive experience in
the IFA market from their previous positions at Norwich Union and Barings
and are likely to be able to drum up considerable support through their old
The first two retail offerings – Miller's UK growth fund and Pease's
European growth fund – are set to be launched on July 2, with several more
to be added before the end of the year.
An equity income, special situations and international funds have all been
mentioned as priorities.