Franklin Templeton eyes UK market

Franklin Templeton Investments is seeking to gain distributor status for and add sterling share classes to six of its 48 Luxembourg-based Sicav funds so they can be marketed to British investors. The asset manager will also launch four new funds for its Oeic range and gain distributor status for another four funds that have yet to be added to the Sicav range.

The asset manager has applied for distributor status and sterling share classes for the Franklin Aggressive, Franklin Mutual European, Templeton Asian Growth, Templeton China, Templeton Eastern Europe and Templeton Latin America funds. The last two funds are managed by Mark Mobius (pictured).

This is part of what Jamie Hammond, sales and marketing director for Northern Europe at Franklin Templeton Investments, calls its core satellite approach to expanding its fund range. “As the six funds we have chosen so far demonstrate, we will seek distributor status for specialist funds in Luxembourg.

“If there are funds in core sectors for the general retail market then we would prefer to launch them as new funds in the Oeic. But we are happy to add sterling share classes to specialist funds for which there will be demand from discretionary and multi-managers.”

One of the other four Sicav funds for which Franklin Templeton will seek distributor status and sterling share classes is the Global Reits fund. Franklin Templeton is currently seeking approval from the Luxembourg authorities to launch this fund, which will be managed by Jack Foster, senior vice-president of Fiduciary Trust Company International. The three other funds identified by Hammond will be launched later this year.

Hammond says Franklin Templeton is finalising the four funds to be added to the Oeic range. They will include equity income and fixed income funds. The fixed income fund currently in the Oeic, Franklin Corporate Bond, is in the fourth quartile over the past year, according to Standard & Poor’s.

He adds that once the list of four funds is finalised then the group will decide if it needs to recruit any external fund managers. The timing of these funds, says Hammond, will depend on whether Franklin Templeton has already got the internal capability to manage them. But the aim is to launch them before the end of this year.

Focus, page 26.