Warnock returns

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 128th of 132 funds in the Global Growth sector over three years, with a fall of 22.74% on a bid-to-bid basis, compared with a sector average fall of 3.06%. Over one year the fund 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 Millar 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 through 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 he says Warnock will have to prove himself again, which he adds will be hard in a market where 75% of invested money is going into just 30 funds.

“He may well prosper under a new environment at Premier, 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”.