Credit Suisse equities chief unveils plans for global income fund

Credit Suisse has unveiled plans for a global equity income fund next year following the arrival of Graham Ashby as the firm’s head of UK retail equities.

Ashby (pictured) has improved Credit Suisse’s range by cutting bank weightings and appointing Mira Bhogaita to the UK equity income team.

Ashby says the global fund will hold about 50 stocks, in line with the firm’s core £740m Income and £300m Monthly Income portfolios.

“Global equity income is a good long-term story,” he says. “We are seeing a structural change. In America and Japan, companies like IBM and Honda are significantly increasing their dividends.”

The fund is likely to be launched in the second half of 2008, subject to regulatory approval.

But Ashby, who arrived from Sarasin Chiswell in October, says his priority is “to sort out the UK funds”. His first move was to introduce maximum position sizes of 5% and minimums of 1%, in a bid to cut out long tails of small and mid cap stocks.

Ashby says he aims to finish reshaping the portfolios within the next two weeks. He has cut bank weightings from 27% to 14% in anticipation of further problems in the sector and lower dividend growth. Ashby has also introduced an equal weighting policy on stocks in the £65m Alpha Income fund.