Graham Birch to take sabbatical

Graham Birch, the manager of the £1.5 billion BlackRock Gold & General fund, is to take a sabbatical until the end of the year.

Evy Hambro, who has worked alongside Birch since 1994, will take over the fund as well as the World Mining investment trust.

Tony Stenning, the managing director of BlackRock’s unit trust business, says Birch’s career spans 25 years and he has asked for extended leave this year. They have said there will be no changes to how the funds are currently run.