Cazenove rejigs funds for a wider audience

Cazenove Capital Management is to offer four of its multi-manager portfolios to retail investors from September 2005. The funds, all co-run by fund managers Mark Harries and Simon Wood, are currently available only to the group’s private clients, through its Universal portfolio service.

In addition, the Cazenove Universal Balanced portfolio is to change from a unit trust to a non-Ucits retail scheme structure, to allow investments in a wider range of asset classes. Previously managed as a traditional balanced fund of funds portfolio investing in equity and fixed interest assets, the new fund will invest in other asset classes including hedge funds, commodities and property.

The newly named Multi Manager Diversity fund will target an absolute annual return benchmark of 4% above the consumer price index, and is expected to invest in 15 different funds.

Wood says: “The fund will remain invested in both equities and bonds but about one-third of the portfolio will be invested in alternative assets.

“Since Mark and I joined Cazenove in 2002, we have worked on strategic asset allocation models on behalf of discretionary clients. Retail investors, who previously would not have had access to this type of fund, will now be able to access Cazenove’s expertise in this area.”

Other than a name change, the other three funds will continue to be run identically as the new Multi Manager Global ex UK (formerly International), Multi Manager UK Growth (UK Growth) and Multi Manager Equity (Growth) portfolios.

Harries and Wood previously ran mirrors of three of the Universal portfolios on behalf of M&G Investments as part of the group’s unfettered fund of funds range.

As a result, an agreement was in place between the two houses that Cazenove-branded funds would not be offered to retail investors. However, M&G has now moved management of these funds in-house and hence, as from July 1, the stipulation no longer applies.

Minimum investment for all four funds will be 1,000 with a 4% initial fee and an annual management charge of 1%. Other than the Diversity fund, all will be available for Isa and Pep investors. All changes are subject to unitholder approval.