Walker Crips to soft close fund as it hits £120m

Walker Crips will soft close its UK High Alpha find on October 31 after the fund reached its target size of £100m.

The fund, which has reached £120m in assets, will allow existing investors to increase capacity, but after October 31 new investors will have to pay the full 5% front-end charge.

Managed by Jan Luthman and Stephen Bailey, the fund was launched in December 2006. According to Morningstar over the past 12 months to September 1, the fund was ranked 50th out of 320 funds in the IMA UK All Companies sector after its return was down 5.3% compared with a sector decline of 10.7%.

Bailey (pictured) also managing director at Walker Crips, says the macro focus of the fund has allowed it to avoid many of the “disasters” in the British equity market over the last 12 months, such as investing the consumer facing sectors.

Instead he says the portfolio still has a large focus on pharmaceutical and energy companies.

The fund, which has 29 holdings, is a more concentrated version of the £88m CF Walker Crips UK Growth fund, which the group has managed since 2002.

Bailey says the fund will be closed so as to keep the portfolio fluid and protect performance, a move applauded by Chelsea Financial Services.

“They stated they would do this from the start,” says Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea. “£100 million is a lot to have raised in less than two years for a smaller and less well known group.”