Majedie UK Alpha fund opens to retail

Majedie Asset Management has made its UK Alpha fund available to retail investors from April 3. The fund, which increases the firm’s retail range to two, has been managed by Jon Scriven since October 2005.

“We always had absolute confidence in Jon’s ability as a stockpicker,” says Rob Harris, fellow fund manager at Majedie.

“But it is the first time he has run a retail fund and we wanted to get an established track record before making it available to the market.”

Scriven joined the firm as a “roving analyst” in January 2005, following five years as an analyst at Fidelity International.

The fund has been run using seed money, placed into the fund in October. “It was a modest seven-figure sum,” says Harris. “Jon and the other managers have significant money in this fund.”

According to Harris, performance has been strong. From inception to March 31, the fund returned 24.9%. This compares with a return of 12.3% from the FTSE All-Share index. The fund has a concentrated portfolio of about 30 holdings. Harris is unwilling to reveal any details of its current stocklist but says that BOC and Man Group have been held during the past six months.

“The fund’s objective has been kept deliberately loose,” says Harris. “The aim is to maximise returns from a concentrated portfolio of UK equities. But there are no size or sector constraints. We believe this can prevent the ability to maximise returns. There will be a broad spread across the market.”

While the firm aims to close funds before assets have a negative impact on performance, Harris says no specific limit has been set for UK Alpha. “We raised the barrier, in terms of the front-end charge, for UK Opportunities when it reached 100m,” he says. “We won’t hesitate to do the same with Jon’s fund but it is some way off.”

Harris says the soft closure limit for UK Alpha is likely to be above 100m because market liquidity has less bearing on the stocks held.

The new fund has a negotiable 5% initial charge and 1.5% annual management fee. The minimum investment is 10,000.