Stephen Whittaker drafts in Downing’s Lynch on income fund

Querns Asset Managers has appointed Downing as investment manager of its UK equity income fund alongside existing manager Stephen Whittaker.

Downing’s James Lynch will co-manage the £15.7m Querns Monthly Income fund with Whittaker effective from today, to draw on Downing’s small-cap capability and to attract flows.

Whittaker says: “Over the last three years as an equity-only fund we have delivered top quartile performance for our investors.

“I have always believed that I have a talent for spotting new and exciting fund managers, not least in the past the likes of Neil Woodford and Mark Barnett. It is now time to take our process forward and I am delighted to be linking up with James Lynch and the Downing team. The team is headed by Judith Mackenzie, a top-performing fund manager, and working together I believe we can attract much greater assets under management and put our skills to work for our investors.”

Judith MacKenzie, partner and head of Downing public equity, adds: “Stephen has a career’s worth of experience across the investment spectrum and we are delighted to be working with him. Our ambition is to develop and grow through synergistic relationships, aligning Stephen’s expertise and proven ability, particularly in large cap and income investing, with Downing’s smaller company capability and heritage. This makes sense from both perspectives.”

The Querns Monthly Income fund combines growth and value strategies to target an above market yield alongside capital appreciation. It is a high-conviction portfolio that uses a bottom-up approach to find companies with strong dividends at attractive valuations.