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SJP boots Axa off managing £3bn fund

St Jampeoplees’s Place is replacing Axa Investment Management as the manager of its £3bn Balanced Managed Unit Trust after 11 years.

The UK wealth manager has picked US-based investment managers GMO and Jennison Associates as co-managers of the fund starting their mandate over next summer.

GMO’s long-standing fund manager Ben Inker will run 80 per cent of the fund “exclusively for SJP” with a value-oriented approach, the firm says.

The rest of the portfolio will be a concentrated group of holdings and managed by New York-based Jennison Associates’ Mark Baribeau with a growth style.

Axa global head of Framlington equities Mark Beveridge, who has been running SJP’s mandate since after fund manager Richard Peirson retired in March, will continue to run the fund during the interim period.

SJP makes changes to fund range

SJP chief investment officer Chris Ralph says: “The appointment of GMO and Jennison Associates blends two complementary investment styles and provides greater flexibility to allocate across asset classes over a market cycle.

“These appointments reflect our continued commitment to selecting the best fund managers from across the globe and are a tangible demonstration of the benefits of our investment management approach. Our focus remains to provide clients with a diversified range of funds to meet their long-term investment objectives.”

An Axa spokeswoman says the firm is “disappointed” by the manager replacement considering Beverage’s outperformance records.

Axa IM says: “Naturally we are disappointed, however we are proud of what we have achieved in our long standing relationship with St James’s Place and they remain a key client for Axa IM.  We have run the Balanced Managed strategy for SJP clients for over 11 years and in that time we have delivered 152.5 per cent return since inception versus the sector average of 77 per cent.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with St James’s Place to deliver the best outcomes for their clients.”

The charge for the Balanced Managed Unit Trust will remain at 1.7 per cent.

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