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Watkins quits Bestinvest after sluggish demand for closed-end service

Bestinvest head of investment trusts Andrew Watkins has left the company after just eight months following slow demand for its recently launched closed-end services.

Watkins, Jupiter&#39s former investment trust chief who joined Bestinvest last October, had been marketing the company&#39s investment trust division which offers manager appraisal, selection and monitoring services to board directors.

But with demand proving much slower than expected, Bestinvest says Watkins has “not had enough to keep him fully occupied”, and he has left to set up his own consultancy business.

Despite the slow pick-up of its services, Bestinvest says it was more than happy with Watkins&#39 contribution and has not ruled out working with him again on a consultancy basis.

It believes the division&#39s main problem has been the reluctance of trusts to outsource functions rather than any internal failings.

Managing director John Spiers says: “Andrew did a great job but demand has been slower than expected. We had hoped that the new rules would pick up business but trusts have decided to do it themselves. We may well do some consultancy work with him in the future.”

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