F&C takes Lees off ‘disappointing’ UK Alpha fund

Peter Lees will be removed from the underperforming £78.1m F&C UK Alpha fund, with Michael Ulrich and Tom Wilson stepping into the breach.

Lees has run the fund since 30 September 2008 producing a 56.3 per cent return compared with the UK All Companies’ 85.9 per cent.

Fourth quartile over one, three and five years to 3 December and a Sharpe ratio of just 0.2, the fund lost money in the past year despite the FTSE All Share gaining 6.5 per cent.

An F&C spokesman confirmed the change will take effect from the first of next year.

“Michael and Tom have extensive experience in managing UK equity portfolios and a strong performance track record,” he says.

“We are aware that performance of the fund has been disappointing and are confident the team is well-placed to turn this around.”

Lees will continue to manage the £42.2m F&C Global Thematic Opportunities fund which has been offering middling performance.

A nine-year veteran of F&C, Ulrich runs the £20.3m F&C Mid Cap and £547.4m F&C Institutional UK Equity funds, while co-managing the £187.8m F&C UK Equity Income fund alongside Rodger McNair since January.

FE Analytics shows he has returned 121 per cent over the past year, almost double the average peer.

Ulrich has steered the F&C Mid Cap fund for the since arriving at F&C in 2008 creating consistent outperformance. It is first quartile over one, three and five years, with a 131.2 per cent return over the past five years. That is 41.93 percentage points greater than the UK All Companies sector.

It is slightly more volatile than most of its peers however, with a third quartile 10.85 per cent.

Although, the F&C UK Equity Income has not had a good time, being fourth quartile for one, three and five years.

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