Investec brings global energy in-house

Investec Asset Management has ended a nine-year association with Tim Guinness, following its decision to bring the management of its global energy funds in house. The move follows the hiring of Mark Lacey and Jonathan Waghorn from Goldman Sachs, who jointly headed the energy research team.

Guinness has managed the offshore $1.6 billion (£820m) Investec Global Energy fund since 1998, following Investec’s purchase of Guinness Flight that year. Guinness left Investec in 2003 to found Guinness Asset Management, and David Aird, managing director at investec, says at that time the group decided it made sense to give him the contract to continue managing the mandate.

In 2004, the group launched an onshore Oeic version of the fund, which to date has taken in £250m. From next month, both funds will be run by Lacey and Waghorn.

“Tim has done a fantastic job,” says Aird. “But the driving force for internalising the funds was to hire quality managers to create an industrial-strength commodity team with a chance of competing with the rest of the sector.”

Aird says that in 2007 Lacey was the top-rated oil and gas analyst, as rated by Thomson Extel. Waghorn, meanwhile, was last year rated as a five-star energy analyst by Starmine. Aird says both used to regularly present before both the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Last month, Guinness Asset Management launched its first British retail fund, the Guinness Alternative Energy fund. Structured as a Dublin-based Oeic, the fund replicates a portfolio the group runs for Guinness Atkinson, its sister company in America.

The fund invests in about 45 global energy companies and Guinness runs the fund with his son, Edward Guinness, and Matthew Page.

According to Guinness, this fund is the first of several specialist and thematic offerings the group will roll out.