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Premier to merge three funds after naming new CIO

Premier Asset Management has appointed a new chief investment officer and unveiled plans to merge three funds into a single global equity portfolio.

Neil Birrell joined Premier in January and has over 25 years of investment experience including as CIO of Framlington Asset Management. He will become the firm’s new CIO after Mike Jennings departs. Jennings will leave the company after “an orderly handover” to pursue other opportunities. He has been with the firm since 2008.

Premier chief executive Mike O’Shea says: “We are grateful for Mike Jennings’ contribution during his time at Premier and we are pleased to be able to appoint such an experienced and capable CIO as Neil Birrell.”

The firm also plans to merge the £56.2m Premier Global Strategic Growth, £18.4m Premier Global Alpha Growth and £8.7m Premier China Enterprise funds, subject to subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

This will form a single global equity fund “with critical mass” and managed by Jake Robbins.

O’Shea adds: “The proposed creation of a new, larger Premier global equity fund is designed to help us ensure we are well placed to deliver the best possible investment value to clients in this area.”

Hargreaves Lansdown senior investment manager Adrian Lowcock says the move to create a larger fund could be beneficial to the firm and investors.

He says: “With smaller funds, you are losing performance through costs and charges. It does not help the fund manager because performance looks terrible and the client is just paying huge charges.”

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