Invesco hires manager for US Equity

Invesco Perpetual has appointed Newton Investment Management’s Simon Laing to take over its underperforming US Equity fund.

Laing has been appointed as the asset manager’s head of US equity fund management, after Andrew Shard left the role earlier this year. He will also assume management of the £332m fund, which has a history of poor performance, when he joins the firm in January.

The Invesco Perpetual US Equity fund has underperformed its IMA North America peer group over the past one, three, five and 10 years. (article continues below)

Over the past five years, the fund has lost 3.76% compared with the 15.22% average return from the wider sector and the 22.6% gain in the benchmark FTSE North America index.

Nick Mustoe, Invesco’s chief investment officer, has managed the fund since Shard left in July. Shard has spent three years at the firm. In the three months with Mustoe at the helm, the portfolio has gained 0.74% against losses of 1.71% in the sector and 1.41% in its benchmark.

Laing was most recently ­Newton’s director of investment management for North American equities, where he ran the £60m Newton American fund.
In contrast with the Invesco fund, this has outperformed over three and five years, but underperformed over the past year. The portfolio returned 21.91% over the last five years but only 1.85% in the past 12 months, below its peer group’s 5.99%.
Comparing the two portfolios, both of which target capital growth, the Newton and Invesco funds’ top 10 holdings have little crossover bar the inclusion of Microsoft.

The Newton fund is more heavily weighted to materials and has a significantly lower exposure to consumer stocks than the Invesco fund. However, both portfolios have similar weightings to technology, industrials and telecommunications.

Just over 10% of each fund is allocated outside America. While the Newton fund has holdings in Canada, Israel and Brazil, the Invesco fund invests in Switzerland, Ireland and Britain.

Ben Yearsley, an investment manager at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “The US is notoriously hard to get right in terms of fund managers who consistently outperform.”