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Old Mutual loses bond star to M&G

Old Mutual&#39s top-performing corporate bond fund manager Richard Woolnough is quitting to join M&G&#39s fixed income team in the new year.

Woolnough, the leading corporate bond fund manager of the past three years, will run a new fund that M&G is launching in the first quarter of 2004.

The fund, which Woolnough will help develop, will sit between M&G&#39s investment-grade and high-yield funds, with the ability to invest across the whole market.

Woolnough&#39s departure comes as a big blow to Old Mutual, which last week announced that star manager Ashton Bradbury is stepping down from its UK select smaller companies fund in January 2004. Bradbury will continue to manage the UK select mid-cap fund and UK specialist equity hedge fund.

M&G managing director UK retail Phil Wagstaff says: “We are delighted that Richard is joining. His superb track record at Old Mutual has gained him the reputation as one of the UK&#39s leading bond fund managers.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “Old Mutual losing Woolnough is a big loss. Unless it finds a good enough replacement, it may lose some of the assets it had built up in the fund.”

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