Collins Stewart’s UK Focus goes ‘under repair’

Collins Stewart is restructuring its most recently launched product, the UK Focus fund, following the manager’s departure.

The fund was developed for David Shapiro at the start of 2008 as a concentrated portfolio of 30 value stocks from across the British market.

Shapiro left the group in January to become deputy chief investment officer at Stamford Associates, an investment consultancy. The UK Focus fund was taken over by Sean O’Flanagan, who also runs the UK Catalyst fund. O’Flanagan joined Collins Stewart from Unicorn Asset Management in 2006.

UK Focus is being overhauled as the group prepares to run it more in line with its house stock selection tool, Quest.

Neil Darke, the head of fund management and wealth management at Collins Stewart, was instrumental in developing the Quest tool. He describes it as a fundamental analysis tool looking at company cash flow that is at the core of the group’s institutional stockbroking business.

“We are not marketing UK Focus at the moment as it is in the garage under repair,” he says. “We are restructuring it with a view to running it along Quest lines. Although Quest is a quant tool, the fund will not be run in a purely mechanical fashion. It will have an active overlay.”

The group is also considering launching further retail products that will make use of the Quest model. “We may look to launch either quant-based funds or funds that use Quest as part of their investment process, with a risk management or whatever other overlay we want,” he adds.