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NU innovates under Morley fund brand

Norwich Union Investment Funds is to concentrate its asset management operations under the Morley brand in a move which will distance the fund manager from its traditional focus on Catmark funds.

In the first phase of the restructure, NU is set to launch two new Focus funds under the Morley name, with further specialist theme funds expected to follow early next year.

NUIF&#39s existing funds will remain under the NU brand and Morley says more plain vanilla products may be launched under the NU brand in future. In particular, head of retail Alan Gadd hints that the life office is considering adding protected funds to its NU range.

However, alternative and more specialist investment launches are to be reserved for the Morley brand, with the first two launches – the European Focus and UK Focus funds – set for next month. The funds will be run by Iain McNeill and David Lis respectively and will comprise limited portfolios of around 30 to 40 stocks.

NUIF&#39s star European fund manager Jeff Currington had been pencilled in to play a role in the new launches but quit NU last week after 20 years.

Gadd says: “Norwich Union is still going to be the dominant brand in the UK. This is about positioning Morley more with a pan-European view. In the first phase we will not be spending time building the Morley brand. We will look for expansion through channels such as fund supermarket platforms.

“We need to do more work to explain the distinction between Morley as an asset manager and NU as a retail brand.”

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