Star Japan fund manager David Mitchinson is to leave Framlington to join J P Morgan Fleming in a shock departure.
Mitchinson, 27, is manager of the highly successful Framlington Japan fund. It has been the number one fund in the Japan sector, with IFAs saying not only has it topped the performance tables, but has left rivals well in the distance recently.
He will manage the fund until the end of July, with Framlington saying it will find a suitable replacement by then. His number two, Jonathan Asante, will continue alongside Mitchinson during his notice period.
Mitchinson is to join JPMF and will be based in Tokyo though he will not be running a fund available in the UK, taking control instead of the Hong Kong-domiciled Jardine Fleming Japan fund which is available to Asian investors.
Chelsea Financial Services head of research Juliet Schooling says: “While there is no immediate cause for panic, David's shoes will be difficult ones to fill. Not only has he been number one in that sector he has been way ahead of the second ranking fund.”
Framlington group sales and marketing director Nick Hodgson says: “We are disappointed and somewhat bemused by his decision, which was based on his desire to work in Tokyo. We offered him an office, an assistant and the opportunity to launch a hedge fund in 2005 from Tokyo, but he still decided to leave.”