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Whittaker leaves in New Star shake-up

New Star joint chief investment officer and UK growth fund manager Stephen Whittaker has left the firm following a sustained period of underperformance.

He has been replaced on UK growth by Trevor Green, who already manages the equity portion of the managed distribution fund and select opportunities fund.

The firm is searching for a new CIO and is in discussions with candidates.

It has also announced a number of fund mergers .The hidden value fund is to merge with the UK alpha fund under Tim Steer”s management, as previously tipped by Money Marketing.

The monthly income unit trust is to merge with the managed distribution fund under the leadership of Green, with the option of monthly income preserved. The European leaders fund is to merge with the European value fund managed by Nick Sheridan.

Chairman John Duffield says: “Our overwhelming priority in making these changes is to improve investment performance. I recognise that we have been too slow in some of our funds in adjusting to the sustained falls in securities markets.”

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Ben Yearsley investment says: “It is a good start but getting rid of one manager and merging three funds is not necessarily going to sort the problem out.

“Whittaker going was not a surprise, neither was the funds merging as they have got a big range built up from various acquisitions made over time. If the markets carry on as they are, we may well see more people go.”


Grim realities

To Pall Mall last Tuesday, lured by the chance to hear actuarial guru and show-stopping speaker Ned Cazalet give his updated lambasting of the life insurers courtesy of the top-end and often rather beautiful headhunters Horton International. It was noted that outsourcers might be more in demand than headhunters through 2009 but that there was little point now in us trying to stop the gravy train because the buffers are already in sight and the brake handle is in the hands of Accelerating Alistair and Go For It Gordon. If big spending is not the trick, then Britain’s next posh dinner could be a long, long way off.

Reit route closed to non-rental companies

The Government has tightened up the criteria on gaining real estate investment trust status to stop property-rich businesses that are not property rental firms from becoming Reits.

Healthcare regulation amalgamation predicted for Gulf states

While Dubai is leading the way in terms of legislating for expat healthcare in the Gulf, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and others are watching and learning – that’s according to Jelf International’s director of international services, Doug Rice. He believes the pace of change in the Gulf states will continue and that some level of unified healthcare system will be introduced across the region.


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