Leader: Should investors follow the stars?

In this last issue of Fund Strategy for the year, it seems only right to stop and ponder on what has happened over the course of the past 12 months. Of course, the most significant event of the year happened at the very start with Fund Strategy’s move to a monthly format, closely followed by my becoming a father for the second time, just pushing Neil Woodford’s record launch flows in his new UK Equity Income fundraising into third spot.

Woodford raised an impressive £1.6bn in his CF Woodford Equity Income fund during its offer period, the biggest-ever fund launch, and since then assets have reached £3.37bn (at end of October). Indeed a theme of this year has been fund managers leaving the home comforts of a large fund manage-ment group to set up their own houses. Richard Pease was the latest star name to do so and in this month’s news analysis, FE Trustnet’s Gary Jackson gets to the “Crux” of whether investors should follow these stars to their own boutiques.

One manager who reversed this trend in 2014 was ex-Invesco European star Rory Powe. Powe left the comforts of Henley back in 2011 to set up his own hedge fund venture but was snapped up by GLG this year and is now in charge of running long-only money again, supported by all the comforts a big house can provide.

Another departure our readers may be less aware of, but impacted more by, is the chairman of Second Coming Asset Management, Scam for short. After nearly six-and-a-half years the chairman has decided to sell up to the lowest bidder and pursue his opportunities elsewhere. We wish both him and Adair the hamster the best of success and thank them for their insights in the day-to-day running of a UK fund management house.

In addition to a host of round-ups and predictions for what 2015 may entail from our contributors, this month’s cover story looks at one of the success stories of 2014 – the commercial property sector. Philip Scott examines the path the sector has been on and where returns are possibly heading in the future.

All that is left for me to do is wish all our readers a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. There will be no issue in January, with normal service resuming in February.