Gartmore tweaks funds as new manager joins

Gartmore will reposition two of its funds to be managed by Leigh Himsworth, who takes up his new role as head of UK equities today.

Subject to Financial Services Authority and shareholder approval, Gartmore will make “small changes to the risk controls and portfolio concentrations of both the Gartmore UK Focus fund and the Gartmore UK Growth fund,” says Richard Pursglove, head of UK retail at Gartmore.

The Gartmore UK Focus fund will be renamed the Gartmore UK Alpha fund. It will become more diversified, with the stock range expanding from 25-40 to 40-65.

“The fund will run a more select portfolio, with a tendency to hold a greater proportion in mid-caps,” says Pursglove.

The Gartmore UK Growth fund will also become more diversified, with its stock concentration expanding from
40-60 to 60-80.

Meera Patel, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says she will be watching the changes with interest.

“The Gartmore UK Focus fund has had really poor performance over recent years,” she says. “I am pleased to see the fund being taken over by a manager with proven ability, and would like to see a turnaround in its performance. Himsworth has a great track record.”

Himsworth’s £40m Royal London UK mid-cap growth trust recorded strong performance and was consistently ranked in the first quartile.

Over the three years to August 2008 it returned 17.64% compared with a sector average of a fall of 8.95%.