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Setback for UBS launch as SGAM swoops for fund duo

UBS Global Asset Manage-ment has been forced to rethink its plans for entry into the UK retail market after rival SG Asset Man-agement poached the two managers set to run its flagship funds.

Hugh Sergeant and Hari Sandhu were set to run the UK growth and UK equity income funds respectively but will now bolster SGAM&#39s UK team.

Instead of a major splash into the market, UBS&#39s entry will be more like a ripple with the launch two lower-profile funds in June with the rest delayed until September. One fund will be a balanced managed fund while the other has yet to be determined.

Sergeant and Sandhu are currently on gardening leave from UBS.

IFAs say the move is a good one for SGAM as it recently lost two high-profile managers itself, with head of European equities Dino Fuschillo and UK growth manager Peter Seabrook leaving.

UBS head of retail Graham Kane says: “It is a bit of a setback but we are pressing ahead with other launches in June and in the autumn as well.”

Best Invest deputy managing director Jason Hollands says: “I do not think that Sergeant and Sandhu will be taking over existing mandates, SGAM will launch funds for them. Most people will feel sorry for UBS. It will not cause long-term damage for them but it is embarrassing.”

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