Pignatelli leaves Schroders by ‘mutual consent’

Mark Pignatelli is to leave Schroders a few months after being reappointed head of European equities. The revelation comes less than a month after Ken Lambden took up his role as head of equities at Schroders. Lambden will now take over responsibility for European equities from Pignatelli.

Schroders says that Pignatelli’s contract runs until mid-April and his departure is by “mutual consent”. It is not known if he has another job to go to.

Just 18 months after he became chief investment officer of Schroders, it was announced in September that Pignatelli was to return to his previous role as head of European equities. This was part of a restructure at Schroders in which it merged the investment management of retail and institutional assets and the distribution of products to retail and institutional clients.

Schroders said at the time that Pignatelli wanted a hands-on role again in managing equities, having developed the investment process used at the asset manager over the previous year and a half. But since September, Pignatelli has been managing institutional money rather than retail funds. He had a strong track record while he was at Barings, but his performance in managing funds at Schroders was not as good before becoming chief investment officer.

Instead of appointing a chief investment officer to replace Pignatelli, in September Schroders announced that Lambden would join as head of equities. He joined Schroders as head of Australian equities in 1998 and was chief investment officer of Schroders Australia until the end of last year.

Fund strategists have played down the significance of Pignatelli’s departure because it is nearly two years since he has managed retail money. As manager of the Schroder European fund, he was succeeded by Adriaan de Mol van Otterloo. Under the restructure in September, Richard Buxton was appointed head of UK equities.