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Seam star manager quits for hedge fund

Scottish Equitable Asset Management has lost the star manager of its American assets fund, Neil Smeaton.

Smeaton, who has been Seam&#39s head of US equities for four years, is leaving to run a hedge fund. He is one of a raft of senior fund manager to quit top UK investment houses recently and move into the hedge fund sector.

The Seam fund is one of only two funds in the North American sector awarded a AAA rating by Standard & Poor&#39s. The other is Merrill Lynch&#39s American fund.

Smeaton will be replaced by current deputy head of US equities Elaine Heaton-Armstrong.

She says: “We have a strong team full of experience and our performance numbers across the board are testament to this. I am sad to see Neil leave.”

Plan Invest director Mich ael Owen says: “We are perturbed by the way in which star fund managers are leaving in droves. We will see how the fund goes with Elaine. But we are not happy. We will put the fund on hold for the time being.”

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