Mitchell leaves Johim for arm’s length role

In response, Johim has passed two of Mitchell’s funds on to the rest of the European equity team and plans to launch a European small-cap fund.

Mitchell, who joined Johim in 1998 from Morgan Grenfell, says it has been his ambition to set up his own business for many years. He expects to leave Johim in two to three months and will hire two analysts.

He will take the Charlemagne hedge fund with him and will continue to manage the Dublin-based Waverton Continental European fund. Waverton Pan European will remain at Johim and be managed by Oliver Kelton, and Mitchell will pass the Johim European fund to Alex Pritchard.

Mitchell says that he will launch an Oeic investing in European equities at his new company, which he expects to call SW Mitchell Capital: “I will remain focused on European equities and I do not have any plans to launch funds other than the Oeic, or recruit other fund managers.”

He has a strong long-term record. Over the past three years, according to Standard & Poor’s, Mitchell’s Johim European fund has returned 27.6% against the sector average of 7.9%. He will pay a fee to Johim to provide administration, IT and compliance services for his new business, and Mitchell adds that he might even be based in the same building.

Anthony Balniel, chief executive of Johim, says the departure of Mitchell was amicable. Although there is a verbal agreement, Balniel stresses that contracts have yet to be signed. He adds that Mitchell and Johim may add a marketing agreement in the future.

According to Balniel, there are no plans to hire a fund manager at the moment: “Alex will take over as head of European equities, supported by Oliver. We will talk to them about whether we need to recruit another manager. But we are always interested in recruiting managers where we have gaps in our offering.”

He adds that Johim, which was bought by Credit Suisse Private Banking in 2001, will launch a European small-cap fund to be managed by Pritchard, who also runs a European small-cap hedge fund.