Industry ‘pioneer’ Jim Stride leaves Axa Investment Managers

Jim Stride, a pioneer of the funds industry, is to depart Axa Investment Managers this month, the asset manager has confirmed.

Stride, who is retiring, has managed the Axa Distribution fund for 33 years.

The fund was the first of its type when it launched in 1984, says global head of Axa IM Framlington equities Mark Beveridge, who describes Stride as “a pioneer in investing to meet the needs of cautious clients”.

A £10,000 sum invested when Stride began running the fund would now be worth £143,950.

Beveridge adds that Stride has also been a pioneer of responsible investing, launching the Axa Ethical Distribution fund and being “hugely dedicated” to representing shareholder interests at company AGMs.

Jamie Forbes-Wilson and Matthew Huddart, who have been co-managers with Stride since February last year, will now co-manage the entire Axa Distribution fund range.

Beveridge says the pair have a strong working relationship and extensive experience in equity income investing having worked with Jim Stride and the Framlington UK equities team for the last 15 years.

Forbes-Wilson joined Axa IM in 2003 and has managed the Axa Framlington Blue Chip Equity Income fund since inception.

Huddart became co-manager of the Ethical Distribution fund and Defensive Distribution in February 2016.

Stride says: “I have enjoyed my time with the company immensely managing these long-standing funds.

“They have a clearly defined and diversified investment strategy, primarily combining equities with inflation-linked bonds, that focuses on reducing volatility over time, as well as delivering a sustainable income stream.

“This tried and tested strategy is very well suited for cautious investors looking to invest for the long-term, especially in volatile markets. 

“This has been demonstrated through the 1987 crash, the 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre, post Lehman‘s collapse and the through the global financial crisis, where the Axa Distribution funds have performed solidly for clients.

“Even looking to the events of last year with the unexpected Brexit decision and election of Trump, the fund remained resilient.

“With Brexit uncertainty prevailing, as well as expectations of rising inflation, I am more convinced than ever that these kinds of funds can provide satisfactory returns and sustained income payments over the long term.”

Stride’s 41-year career in asset management began as a portfolio analyst for the Post Office Staff Superannuation Fund in 1976 before he joined Panmure Gordon as an analyst.

He graduated from the London School of Economics with a BSc in economics and specialised in accounting and finance.