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Opening balance from Framlington

Framlington has opened its institutional managed balanced fund to retail investors 12 years after the fund was introduced.

The fund was originally an exempt unit trust used by Framlington’s own defined benefit pension scheme. Framlington believes the fund fills a gap in its retail range, so decided to create a retail share class rather than establish a new fund. The retail share class has a 1,000 minimum investment compared with the institutional minimum of 100,000.

Approximately 150 stocks are contained in the fund, which aims for smoothed returns over the long term. The fund is benchmarked against the CAPS pooled pension fund balanced managed median and the lead fund manager, Richard Peirson, aims to add value through the small and mid cap weightings in the portfolio. Peirson and his team will not overpay for growth potential or be led by fashion.


Peirson has 32 years investment experience and has managed the fund for the past 10 years. He is responsible for asset allocation and the UK part of the portfolio. He is assisted by fund managers Anja Balfour, who runs Japanese equities, William Calvert, who runs emerging markets, Mark Hargreaves, who runs European equities and Stephen Kelly, who runs US equities. Support is supplemented by other
Framlington managers including George Luckraft, Nigel Thomas and Roger Whiteoak.

By having different fund managers to run different parts of the portfolio, the fund benefits from the specialist skills of those individuals. The broad mix of regions and sectors, as the name suggests, provides a balance so investors are not relying on one economy or industry.

However, the fund does not have such a balanced approach to asset allocation it invests predominantly in equities with a relatively low weighting in fixed interest. Some investors may feel the equity content is too high and may prefer a balanced fund with more exposure to fixed interest and an allocation to property, which this fund lacks.

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Julian Gibbs

One sector which has been neglected by many IFAs is European smaller companies. This is one area where good fund management really counts because smaller companies all over Europe are still much underresearched.

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