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NU and Morgan linking up for UK growth fund

Norwich Union and JP Morgan Asset Management are joining forces to launch a UK growth and value fund that aims to beat the index by 2.5 per cent a year after charges.

NU is bypassing its in-house managers at Morley and will take 200m out of one of its Morley-run with-profits funds to seed the portfolio.

The fund will launch on March 6 and will be managed by Chris Complin and Michael Barakos, managers of the JPM European strategic growth and value and JPM premier equity growth funds respectively.

It will aim to outperform the index by 2.5 per cent a year net of fees, says NU sales director John Clougherty, by exploiting both growth and value stages of the market cycle. It will be equally weighted between 200 and 300 FTSE 350 value and growth stocks, rebalanced on a monthly basis.

Clougherty says: “The weight of opinion in top firms seems to favour large-cap growth stocks currently. The fund will interest advisers and their customers looking for growth but who want a fund that is flexible and makes the most of different market conditions.”

Plan Invest managing dir- ector Michael Owen says: “This is a slightly surprising move as it seems to be saying that Norwich Union is going to start outsourcing its equity management in the UK. Generally speaking, it looks like a launch designed for the sales force and I do not think I will be buying it that much as I can make my own style decisions.”

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