Artemis hires manager for change of fund focus

Artemis has appointed Ruth Keattch as a fund manager to its multi-cap team to assist in shifting the emphasis of its £849m UK Special Situations fund from large cap to small and medium cap.

The fund, managed by Derek Stuart, a founder member of Artemis, was launched in March 2000. Though originally focused on small and medium-sized companies, it has recently concentrated more on large-caps. Now Stuart wants to move the portfolio back towards small and mid-cap stocks. The plan is to focus on stocks hit hardest by the recent sell-off.

Nick Wells, product and communications director at Artemis, says Keattch, who has 20 years’ experience in the investment industry, has been recruited specifically to work on this transition. “She has a strong background of looking for value,” he says. “The view is Derek wants to move the fund over the next 12 to 18 months towards its more traditional hunting ground. Our key area of investment is looking for value and outperformance in mid and small-cap in particular.”

At July 31 the fund had a 57.3% weighting to large-cap stocks, while small and mid-cap represented 21.6% and 21.1% respectively. Wells says the speed the fund shifts at will “completely depend on market conditions”.

Over one year to September 3, the Artemis UK Special Situations fund was third quartile in the Investment Management Association UK All Companies sector, according to Morningstar. It ranked 199 out of 320 funds, producing a negative return of 11.59%, compared with an average sector drop of 10.83%.

Over three years the fund was second quartile, returning 15.5% compared with an average sector return of 15.01%. Over five years to September 3, the fund was first quartile, ranking 46 out of 237 funds.