New ownership will help direction

Artemis completed its move to a limited liability partnership - a structure it hopes will help it to recruit new talent in a changing environment for products and distribution, writes Will Jackson.

Turpin says Artemis has no plans to change SmartGarp. Quantitative models generally outperform in benign market conditions, he notes, and many processes were hurt by irrational market behaviour in 2008 and 2009.

“Quant models have a role to play,” he adds. “Over the last four months it’s interesting that since markets have calmed down, SmartGarp has started to outperform again quite nicely.”

Elsewhere in the range, Becket and McDermott are fulsome in their praise for Frost. Becket has owned Artemis Income for about six years. “It’s possibly the best, most balanced income fund you can find and it has performed over a very long time,” says Becket. “The fund has a clear, communicable strategy, and that’s something that our fund managers and clients warm to. It remains one of our top income picks.”

McDermott says Derek Stuart’s UK Special Situations fund has featured on Chelsea’s buy-list for eight or nine years, and he retains confidence in the manager despite a dip in form. The fund has second-quartile numbers over three years, but falls to fourth quartile over 12 months. “Apart from Frosty their UK funds have been average,” he says. “We’re big fans of Derek Stuart but he’s had a poorish 18 months or so.”

Morningstar data shows that it is not just Frost who has outperformed over the past year, however, and half of the Artemis range is in the first quartile. Turpin singles out Tim Steer. “Tim has done a phenomenal job since he joined us [in 2009],” he says. “He came from New Star, reorganised the port­folio of UK Growth, and although it’s a UK growth fund he’s looking at international earnings.”

Another manager enjoying an impressive start is William Littlewood. Littlewood’s Strategic Assets fund, which was launched in May 2009 and has grown to £650m in assets, aims to outperform cash and equities over rolling three-year per­iods. Artemis recruited Giles Parkinson from Newton as an investment analyst for the fund in July, and Turpin says Parkinson will be seen as “William’s number two” over time.

On future recruitment, Turpin says Artemis may bring experienced managers in at partner level. However, any appointments will be considered carefully, to ensure that they fit in with the firm’s culture.

“There’s always been a feeling of partnership here, irrespective of the corporate structure, because we’re small, we’re collegiate and everyone has worked together for a pretty long time,” he says.

“People work for the good of the business and fund managers always invest in their own funds. It’s all focused towards doing the right thing for our investors, and if we’re doing the right thing for them we’re doing the right thing for ourselves.”