MAM set to launch US equity fund

MAM Funds is planning to launch a US equity fund early next year that will focus towards the smaller end of the market capitalisation.

Fund manager Nick Ford is set to join MAM Funds next month from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership next month. At Swip, Ford was an investment director on the US and global desk. He runs a number of funds, which includes the £83m Scottish American Growth fund and the £23m Scottish Widows American Smaller Companies fund.

Ford previously worked at Gartmore where he previously worked with MAM Funds managing director Gervais Williams. He ran the Gartmore US Smaller Companies fund for seven years.

MAM Funds managing director Gervais Williams says: “Ford is particularly skilful in picking mid and small cap stocks. So clearly there will be a significant bias towards that in the fund. We think that is an area that is underserved in the market. “

The launch, which will be an open-ended fund, is planned for about March.

Williams says: “We want the product to be one that is successful through taking advantage of new trends. There is substantial opportunity in the small-cap or micro-cap area of the US market where managers will be able to take advantage of an improved investment climate, which will be a willingness to invest in smaller companies. Mid-cap has a number of players which are involved in that.”

Mid and large cap in the UK is an area that the firm does not really serve at the moment, according to Williams.

This area will be tackled by two hires MAM has made from Matterley, co-founder George Godber and analyst Georgina Hamilton.

Godber is a founding partner of Matterley, which was acquired by Charles Stanley in 2009, and was the co-manager of the £40m IM Matterley Undervalued Assets fund.

He says: “It is an investment pool which is one that is very important to our clients and we would like to feel we can bring something there that has greater relevance than many of the existing products in the market.”

Godber will be the lead manager of the fund. Williams says the product will not be identical to the Undervalued Assets fund, but it will have a value bias. It will launch at the end of the first quarter at the earliest.

“Cashflow and value is very important to the way they select stocks,” he says.