Niznik, who has managed the £369m UK opportunities fund since 2002, joined Standard Life from Invesco Perpetual, where he managed the UK smaller companies equity fund. Standard Life has now placed him on gardening leave.
Standard Life’s UK smaller companies manager Harry Nimmo is to take on the fund in the interim as the firm seeks to find a long-term replacement.
Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “He is a top quality manager who has outperformed consistently over the past five years. Any firm would miss him. If it is Artemis, then it is a very interesting move as it there are a number of small and mid-cap managers already at the firm.”
Artemis product and communications director Nick Wells: “This is market speculation, which the group cannot confirm or deny at the moment.”