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S&W MM Global Investment sells Darwall’s Jupiter European Opps

James Burns has dropped Alexander Darwall’s Jupiter European Opportunities trust from the £26.2m Smith & Williamson MM Global Investment fund as he adjusts the portfolio’s European exposure.

Burns sold out of Darwall’s £240.1m investment trust, which the fund has owned for about 12 years, at the end of August and has been a building up a position in John Bennett’s £95.3m Henderson European Focus trust.

The manager says the decision to sell the Jupiter European Opportunities trust is a short-term tactical move, based on the fund’s high gearing, expensive portfolio, narrowing discount and its exposure to the UK, which stands at more than 40 per cent.

“I just wanted to have slightly more pure European exposure on a cheaper basis and on a wider discount,” Burns says. “[Henderson European Focus] is 100 per cent Europe, the portfolio is cheaper and it’s not got as much gearing.

“If something goes wrong in Europe in the next couple of weeks and Europe crashes, then the portfolio is not as geared and is not as expensive so it might hold up better. If the markets do go ahead, it’s cheaper and it’s all Europe so there may be a bit of a boost.” founder Justin Modray says: “The recent announcement from the European Central Bank on plans to stave off the sovereign debt crisis has been a boost for Europe, but there are still a number of long-term question on whether the eurozone can hold itself together. If I were looking at European funds now I would still focus on making a small bet on a defensive fund in the sector.”

Skerritt Consultants head of investments Andy Merricks says: “We have started to look at Europe again as the Armageddon scenario appears to be diminishing. There appears to be a lot of value across a number of sectors in Europe.”


German court approves eurozone bail-out fund

The German constitutional court has given its assent for the €500bn European Stability Mechanism to go ahead, after throwing out a last minute attempt to block the eurozone bail-out fund. Reports have suggested the bailout fund would leave Germany with unlimited liability and would not be subject to democratic control. Judges from Germany’s top court […]


Money Advice Service healthcheck set for overhaul

The Money Advice Service has admitted its £2m online healthcheck tool “needs improvement” and has revealed plans for an overhaul. In March, Money Marketing revealed MAS research showed of 1,000 healthcheck users, 300 did not remember doing it and an additional 371 failed to do anything differently. MAS is currently the subject of a Treasury […]

Trial begins for former UBS trader

The trial of former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli began in London yesterday, who is accused of racking up losses of £1.5bn through unauthorised trades at the bank. In September 2011, the Financial Services Authority and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority announced it was launching an investigation into unauthorised trading at UBS by a rogue […]

Indy and restricted: Brooks Macdonald sets out RDR strategy

Brooks Macdonald Group says it plans to offer a hybrid mix of independent and restricted advice post-RDR, after it posted a 17 per cent increase in pre-tax profits. The firm says its asset management business will become restricted under RDR, advising only on investment management, whereas its consulting business will be independent, advising on all […]

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Guide: how to… communicate with your pension members

Effective communication of your pension scheme is a large part of getting auto-enrolment right. Delivering the same message to all employees is not necessarily the way to go. To assist you with the communication of your pension scheme, we have provided some key areas to think about, such as:

  • What to consider when segmenting your workforce
  • How to communicate to pension scheme members at the right time in their member lifecycle
  • What topics you should be discussing with your pension members
  • The new pension freedoms and the importance of communicating them


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