NU adds to multi-manager offerings

The managers of the four funds – Income, Cautious, Balanced and Growth – are selected by Aon Asset Management, while Morley Fund Management is in charge of asset allocation.

The offering is NU’s second foray into the multi-manager sector. It already runs a fund of funds proposition in its life and pension product wrappers, managed by Investment Manager Selection.

James Pearson, fund development director at NU, notes: “There are a number of ways of delivering multi-manager solutions. So far there have been more funds of funds than managers of managers. However, recently some groups have been adopting a hybrid of the two and we think the manager of managers route will be an area of substantial growth going forward.”

At launch Aon has appointed five managers to run segregated UK equity portfolios, which Pearson says reflect a mix of styles and approaches. The managers include Nick Train (pictured) at Lindsell Train, Toby Thompson and Stephen Whitaker at New Star, and Hugh Sergeant at SocGen. Tony Willis at Lazards and David Cumming at Standard Life will also manage portfolios for the four funds.

For the funds’ European exposure Aon has selected Richard Lewis at New Star and Gabrielle Boyle at Lazards to run mandates, which will be similar to their own retail offerings. Elsewhere, Intech has been selected to run an American mandate, Nomura will run Japanese money and Lloyd George will manage the Asian assets.

In terms of fixed interest, Gartmore and Aegon will manage two corporate bond portfolios and Morley will run gilt money.

The NU Income fund will initially consist 71.5% of UK equities, 26.4% UK corporate bonds and 2.1% cash. Its aim is to deliver a regular level of income and a yield 120% or above the FTSE All-Share.

The Cautious fund has a more diversified mix between equities and fixed interest. The allocation to the two asset classes will vary over time and at least half of the fund’s total assets will always be held in sterling or euro-dominated investments. At launch 33.33% will be held in UK equities and 34.64% will be held in bonds.

The Balanced and Growth funds are aiming for longer-term capital growth. However, the Balanced fund holds a spread of global equities and bonds, while the overall policy of the Growth fund is to be wholly invested in equities.

The Income and Cautious funds will carry an initial charge of 4.25%, while the Balanced and Growth funds have an initial 5% fee. The annual fees are different for each fund starting at 1.8% for Growth, 1.7% for Balanced, 1.65% for Cautious and 1.6% for Income.