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New Star underperformers get new managers

Investors in the underperforming New Star Higher Income and Sterling Bond funds can expect changes to the portfolios, after manager changes last week.

Following the completion of the mer­ger of Henderson and New Star, Toby Thompson manager of Higher Income and Phil Roantree, manager of Sterling Bond, will not move to
Henderson. In Thompson’s place steps Graham Kitchen, the head of UK equity at Henderson, and Andrew Jones, UK equity manager.

Andrew Formica, the chief executive of the Henderson Group, says given Kitchen’s bias to income investing in large companies, it made sense to hand the fund to him and Jones, rather than Jones Henderson, manager of the Henderson UK Equity Income fund.

Over the three years to March 30, 2009, the fund was ranked 63rd out of 65 funds in the IMA UK Equity Income sector, with the return down 54.7%, compared with the
sec­tor average decline of 32.7%.

“Graham and Andrew are sensible managers and they will look at the portfolio to see what needs to be adjusted,” says Formica. The pair have also assumed management of Charles Deptford’s New Star Equity Income fund, with Deptford not joining Henderson.

Roantree’s Sterling Bond fund was taken over by Stephen Thariyan, the head of credit at Henderson, and Philip Payne, the manager of the Henderson All Stocks Credit and Long Dated Credit funds. Both have mainly managed institutional money and take over a fund at the bottom of 80 funds in the IMA £ Corporate Bond sector.

Henderson intends to rationalise the fund range and will reveal details at the end of May, when the group will be rebranded Henderson New Star.

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