Blackrock UK Income fund downgraded on Wharrier exit

Morningstar has downgraded the Blackrock UK Income fund following the exit of Mark Wharrier earlier this month saying he had brought “structure” to the investment process.

The fund rating has gone from bronze to neutral, Morningstar confirmed this morning.

Wharrier is joining Troy Asset Management as an assistant manager on the £3.5bn Trojan Income fund alongside manager Francis Brooke and assistant manager Hugo Ure.

Co-managers Adam Avigdori and David Goldman remain in place on the £411m Blackrock fund.

Morningstar senior analyst Peter Brunt says Wharrier joined Blackrock in September 2013 to help refocus and lead the UK equity income team.

“Wharrier brought structure to the investment approach and ensured that there was balance across the three co-managers.

“We consider his exit as a loss to the fund and, while we will be monitoring the progress of the Avigdori and Goldman closely, for now our level of conviction has diminished.”

Chelsea Financial managing director Darius McDermott has previously said Wharrier’s move not a significant one for Blackrock and that if he owned the fund he would not sell it based on the manager exit.