Jupiter hunts for boutique managers in £8bn Merlin range

Chatfeild-Roberts-John-2012-700x450.jpgJupiter Asset Management has been strategically investing in more boutique managers in its £8bn Merlin fund range.

Within the Income fund in the range, the Jupiter independent funds team, led by former chief investment officer John Chatfeild-Roberts, has recently added the TwentyFour Asset Management Strategic Bond fund managed by the boutique firm’s partner and portfolio manager Chris Bowie.

Jupiter Asset Management fund management director Amanda Sillars says: “TwentyFour is a fixed interest specialist boutique. This firm is different from the others. They have a good understanding of central banks as well as corporate governance.”

“Just try to find another fixed interest company that meets all the companies they invest in. That is normally a priority of equity investors,” she says.

The Merlin team has also added fund managers Hugh Yarrow and Ben Peters from Evenlode Income in 2014 as well as Terry Smith from Fundsmith in 2012, says Chatfeild-Roberts.

The team has also been holding equity manager James Findlay at “big boutique” Findlay Park since 1992, which is currently a 26 per cent holding in the Merlin Worldwide portfolio.

Chatfeild-Roberts said there are many boutique firms managing “not much money” but he sees them growing.

Sillars says: “We continue to monitor our managers in our portfolios and we simply look at the underlying funds we have and how they perform against the market everyday.”

Jupiter also continues to back star boutique fund manager Neil Woodford, having followed him through his transition from Invesco Perpetual to Woodford Investment Management.

Chatfeild-Roberts now holds almost £1bn in Woodford’s Equity Income fund across the five Merlin funds, making him “the biggest outside holder” of the £6.18bn fund.