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Omam postpones launch as Kerr reduces work commitments

Old Mutual Asset Managers has postponed the launch of its UK specialist absolute return following the announcement that Luke Kerr is reducing his work commitments for a few months to focus on his health.

Ashton Bradbury, the head of equities has taken over as interim manager of Kerr’s dynamic equity return fund and the specialist equity hedge fund.
Bradbury was the manager of the specialist equity fund from launch in March 2003 to December 2008 and deputy manager of the dynamic equity fund from launch in July 2005 to June 2009.

Omam says it still intends to launch the UK specialist absolute return fund as at a later date. It was due to launch in May.


Govt trebles cost of pension tax changes

Chancellor Alistair Darling has trebled his estimate of the one-off costs that pension schemes, employers and individuals will incur as a result of the tax on higher earners’ pension contributions.

Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.


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