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New Star moves into Jupiter orbit

New Star is set to overtake chairman John Duffield’s previous venture Jupiter after almost doubling its assets under management last year.

Its assets rose from 5.9bn in 2003 to 10.7bn in 2004. In the first quarter of this year the firm was among the most successful Isa players, growing its assets to around 12bn. Jupiter managed 11.5bn in December 2004.

Much of New Star’s gro- wth last year was acquisition-led, with the company buying in 3.5bn assets from struggling fund managers Edin-burgh and Exeter.

New Star chief executive Howard Covington believes the firm was the market leader for net-retail sales in the fourth quarter and number two for sales through fund supermarkets, driven by the popularity of New Star’s property portfolio and funds of funds.

Operating earnings leapt by 140 per cent last year to 25.4m from 10.6m in 2003 last year and sets New Star up for a 600m flotation this year.

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “New Star has been very aggressive in making acquisitions and getting in new business. It is welcome news that someone can grow so strongly in this market but it it no surprise, knowing Duffield and his team, that New Star has done so well. I can see them overtaking Jupiter.”

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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