Distribution manager Marwood exits Axa IM after 20 years

marwood-richard-pr-2Fund manager Richard Marwood has left Axa Investment Managers, leading to a reshuffle of fund managers to take over his Distribution funds.

Marwood, who exits the asset manager after 20 years to pursue another opportunity, was co-manager of the Distribution range and reported to head of the range Jim Stride.

The fund manager has run the firm’s £934m Distribution fund since 2002, and the £333m Defensive Distribution and £181m Ethical Distribution portfolios since 2008.

Rob Bailey, head of UK wholesale distribution at Axa IM, says: “We would like to thank Richard for his contribution over the last 20 years and wish him the best for the future.

“At Axa IM we have a deep pool of talent, particularly in UK equities, and I am confident that we will continue to provide clients with the consistent risk-adjusted returns they have come to expect.”

The Distribution fund Marwood run has not outperformed over recent months, leading to a Morningstar downgrading in September.

He recently told Fund Stategy, the underperformance has not led to too many questions from investors as they understand his style and his longer term view.

He said: “Most people who invest understand the story well. It is a very, very defined strategy so they probably already know why the short-term performance is what it is.”

Following his departure, Jamie Forbes-Wilson, William Howard and Matthew Huddart will co-manage the Distribution range.

Forbes-Wilson, the current manager of the Axa Framlington Blue Chip Equity Income fund, will co-manager the Distribution and £932m Lifetime Distribution funds.

Howard, who manages the Axa WF Framlington Global High Income fund, will become co-manager of the £100m Axa Global Distribution fund.

Huddart will become co-manager on the Defensive Distribution and Ethical Distribution funds. Huddart was previously deputy manager on the ethical fund.

Stride says: “I have been working with [Forbes-Wilson and Howard] more closely over recent years and due to their respective equity income experience they were the natural candidates to join the Distribution team.

“[Huddart] is an integral member of the Distribution franchise and I am pleased he has been given the opportunity, as a rising talent, to step up as co-manager on two funds.”