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Wombwell to run Brooks Macdonald fund venture

Brooks Macdonald has launched a fund business headed by former Scottish Widows Investment Partnership head of sales and marketing Simon Wombwell.

Wombwell has been made chief executive and the Brooks Macdonald Funds launch brings together funds from the firm’s Lawrence House and Braemar Group acquisitions.

The business, made up of three fund of funds and four specialist funds, has been given FSA approval. The funds of funds are sub-funds of the IFSL Brooks Macdonald Oeic, inherited through the Lawrence House acquisition in September 2009.

Shareholders last week approved the restructure of the Fofs to become part of the new business. They will be managed by Jonathan Webster-Smith, who leads Brooks Macdonald’s managed portfolio service, and will operate under balanced, cautious growth and defensive income risk profiles.

The specialist proposition includes three specialist funds from the Braemar Group acquisition in July 2010, the student accommodation fund, the ground rents fund and the UK agricultural land offering.

It will also include a structured growth fund, which is a sub-fund of the Brooks Macdonald Oeic.

The funds will be available via IFAs and through several platforms, including Cofunds, Standard Life and Axa Elevate.

The fund of funds and structured growth fund will have one share class with a 1 per cent annual management charge and one with a 1.5 per cent AMC, with an initial charge of up to 5 per cent. It is likely the initial charge will not apply to business via platforms.

The property funds will also have an initial charge of up to 5 per cent and an annual charge of 0.75 per cent.

Wombwell says: “We want to build on Brooks Macdonald’s success in the discretionary fund market for private clients. We expect that audience to grow because of the RDR, the changes we have seen in distribution and the move to platforms.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “It is very interesting, particularly for high net-worth clients.”

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