Warnock returns to run revamped Premier fund

Warnock (pictured) left Jupiter in February last year and was replaced by Paul Sheehan.

Premier Asset Management has created the UK Opportunities fund by changing the mandate of its £4.2m Global 100 fund, which was previously a quasi-tracker investing in the world’s 100 largest companies. The move was approved by shareholders in the fund two weeks ago.

The Global 100 fund is ranked 128th out of 132 funds in the Global Growth sector over three years, with a fall of 22.74% compared with a sector average fall of 3.06%. Over one year it is down 2.02% compared with a sector average gain of 2.99%, and is 145th of 160 funds in the sector.

Under Warnock, who became manager of the Jupiter UK Special
Situations fund when Alan Miller left to join New Star, the fund fell 52.78% against an average fall in the UK All Companies sector of 37.54%. This ranked it 273rd of 276 funds from December 2000 to February 2003.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says the problem Warnock had at Jupiter was that he never made the fund his own:

“While he did a good job at Johnson Fry [subsequently taken over by Legg Mason], this was managing a blue-chip fund, not special
situations. At Jupiter, he never made sufficient changes to the portfolio and as a result his performance got dragged down by two or three poor stocks and he quickly lost confidence.”

As a result, says Dampier, Warnock will have to prove himself again, which will be hard in a market where 75% of client money is going into just 30 funds: “He may well prosper in a new environment, but he is going to have to make lots of changes to the Premier fund to make it work.”

Premier managing director Jonathan Fry says Warnock joined the firm “about a month ago”.

See Focus, page 26