By IFAs fear Framlington will struggle to find a suitable replacement for its star Japan fund manager David Mitchinson.
Mitchinson resigned from Framlington last week to take a role with JP Morgan Fleming in Tokyo.
During his tenure, the Framlington Japan fund returned 124.3 per cent over just one year and is first of 55 in its sector, according to Standard & Poor's.
Over two years, it has returned 64.8 per cent and is first out of 53 funds.
Framlington group sales and marketing director Nick Hodgson expressed the group's disappointment at Mitchinson's decision to leave. The fund manager decided to move on even though Framlington offered him an office, an assistant and the opportunity to manage a hedge fund in 2005 from Tokyo.
Framlington has proved it can attract top managers by hiring such big names as Nigel Thomas and George Luckraft. However, analysts believe it could struggle to find a replacement of Mitchinson's calibre when he departs in July.
Japan is becoming an increasingly popular investment sector among retail investors. Bambos Hambi, manager of the Gartmore portfolio balanced strategy fund of funds, took a new stake in Framlington Japan last week.
Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “JP Morgan Fleming has made a coup with this appointment. A worthy replacement will be extremely hard to find and many managers will not exactly relish having to follow a performance record like Mitchinson's over the past two years.
“The fund was on our buy list but sadly this will no longer be the case. Until we have met the replacement manager, the fund will be on hold.”