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Schroders drops F&C for Insight

Schroders multi-manager team switched its propoerty investment, taking profits and further backing its conviction on the outlook for Japan.

The Schroder S&P cautious managed distribution port-folio has sold its 5 per cent holding in the F&C commercial property investment trust. Over the three months the position was held, its F&C veh-icle gained more than 15 per cent before the team decided to take profits.

It is still optimistic on the outlook for the sector and the team has rolled these gains into the new issue of Insight’s Foundation property trust.

Schroders has also reduced its holdings in private equity in its cautious managed distribution and high-alpha port- folios. Its biggest private equ- ity holdings, Candover and SCG Capital, gained 22 per cent between December 2004 and July 2005, compared with the FTSE All-Share rise of 12 per cent. As with F&C’s commercial property trust, the team felt the shares were trading on a significant premium to their net asset value and dec- ided to cash in.

At the same time, the team liquidated its positions in Odey Japan and Schroder Tokyo, replacing them with JP Morgan Japan.

Initially, it thought exposure across two funds would be a good complement for one another but the strong performance of former Framlington manager David Mitchinson’s “go-anywhere” approach in the fund, launched in October 2004, has led the team to back his performance.

Schroders head of multi-manager Andrew Yeadon says: “We like Mitchinson’s fund because it is effectively a boutique product with strong backing. We also took the opportunity to come out at a premium on the F&C trust and get into Insight’s similar trust closer to NAV. It was a no-brainer. “

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