UBS and Gartmore replace Merrill UK mandate

SIML chief investment officer Alan Durrant says: “We have been invested with MLIM for a long time and they have done an excellent job. Despite the attractions of Luke Chappell as head of the UK specialist team at MLIM, we felt it was time for a change after a number of departures from the group. There has been a gradual erosion of the UK team.”

Following the appointment of UBS and Gartmore in place of MLIM, Durrant has altered the allocations to managers within its UK portfolio. SIML has reduced its weighting to SG Asset Management to 30% while raising Martin Currie’s to 30%. UBS will also manage 30% of the portfolio and Gartmore will run 10%.

“Gartmore is managing a focused mandate for us. It will comprise the team’s best 30 to 40 ideas,” says Durrant. “As it is a concentrated portfolio, we believe that over the long term this will lower the risk. But in the short term, there may be greater volatility, which is why we have given it a lower weighting.

“UBS has a value mandate. It will take a flexible approach, finding stocks that it believes are cheap. It will not take a dogmatic approach. UBS does not look for catalysts as it argues that if a company is cheap based on fundamentals, then investors will make money from it.”

Martin Currie adopts a momentum philosophy in SIML’s portfolio, while SGAM takes a growth at a reasonable price approach.