Schroders swoops for Howard-Spink

European fund managers Adriaan de Mol van Otterloo and Zafar Ahmadullah are to leave Schroders to set up their own separate asset management boutiques.

To replace them, Schroders has recruited Leon Howard-Spink from Jupiter to follow the recent hiring of Gary Clarke from Gartmore. Schroders will launch three European equity funds later this year to add to its existing onshore and offshore ranges.

Schroders has moved to ensure a handover between the managers and reshuffle responsibilities on the new six-strong desk. Clarke joins in September while Howard-Spink will arrive in November. But Ahmadullah does not leave until October, while van Otterloo will remain until December.

The Schroder European fund will pass from van Otterloo to Denis Clough, who returned to Schroders in April after a sabbatical. Howard-Spink (pictured) will take over the European Alpha Plus fund from van Otterloo.

In the offshore range, Clarke will be manager of the Schroder ISF Euro Equity fund (now managed by Ahmadullah), James Squire gets ISF European (ex UK) Equity (van Otterloo), Howard-Spink replaces van Otterloo on ISF Euro Active and Clarke takes over ISF European Equity Alpha from Ahmadullah.

At Jupiter, Cedric de Fonclare has been promoted from deputy to lead fund manager of the European Special Situations fund with immediate effect. De Fonclare already manages the Luxembourg-based Jupiter Pan-European Growth fund as well as the Continental European portfolios for the ADIG Europe Select fund and the Jupiter Global Managed fund.

Mark Dampier, head of research at Hargreaves Lansdown, says the moves at both asset managers should not concern investors.

“I am impressed by the way Schroders has handled the situation,” says Dampier. “Van Otterloo obviously told Schroders he was going to leave and they persuaded him to stay on a few months and organise a handover. As we like the managers coming into Schroders and there is a long handover, we will probably recommend investors remain in the funds at the moment.

“We thought Cedric de Fonclare was good when we met him six months ago. We are putting the fund on hold but I am impressed by the fact that John Chatfeild Roberts rates him highly, which is a good sign to me.”

l See Patrick Collinson, page 28.