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Norwich Union tunes its theme

Norwich Union is raising its retail investment profile with the world leaders fund, an Oeic that aims for capital growth by investing globally in a portfolio of around 60 global stocks.

The fund follows a similar thematic approach employed by the global theme fund, from its sister company Morley Fund Management. But unlike the Morley fund, it will focus on large caps and has a benchmark, the MSCI World Index. Both funds are managed by Michael Jennings who joined Morley in October 2001 after 13 years at Sarasin Investment Management.

Jennings will select stocks for the world leaders fund in relation to four themes — competitive advantage, restructuring, the inflationary world and mis-allocation of capital. The first theme involves looking for companies that have the edge over rival businesses in terms of production costs, research, product design and management.

The second theme takes advantage of changes happening within companies or countries and the inflationary world relates to companies that look likely to dominate the market in times of falling interest rates and low inflation. The final theme pinpoints sectors that have been under funded, such as power, transport and education.

The fund could suit investors who already have a core global fund, but who want to diversify further through the thematic approach to stockpicking. However, as a large-cap fund, the growth potential of small and mid-cap funds will be ignored, even if they fit the themes. Also, large cap stocks which do not fit the four themes are likely to be overlooked.

According to Standard & Poor&#39s, the Morley global theme fund is ranked 121 out of 171 funds based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with net income reinvested over one month to April 19, 2002.

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