Old Mutual Global Investors’ Lloyd Harris is taking the reins of the £482m Old Mutual Corporate Bond fund with head of fixed income Christine Johnson continuing as deputy manager.
Harris was appointed co-manager of the corporate bond fund with Johnson in May this year, having joined OMGI in January 2012 as a senior credit analyst focusing on the financial sector.
The group said the Lloyd Harris’ promotion, effective 1 December, will allow Johnson to concentrate on building the fixed income business.
There will be no change to the fund’s investment process or objectives, OMGI says, however Lloyd Harris will focus less on interest rate risk and the benchmark will switch from the IA £ Corporate Bond sector to the iBoxx GBP Non Gilts index.
Head of credit research Tim Barker will also be promoted to the new role of head of credit. He will oversee the credit experts in the fixed income team and assist with asset allocation and stock selection.
Barker will also join Johnson as co-manager of the £150m Old Mutual Monthly Income Bond fund to free up current co-manager Bastian Wagner to focus on the Old Mutual Monthly Income High Yield Bond fund.
Johnson says: “At OMGI we are committed to developing and retaining internal talent. Both Lloyd and Tim have a significant amount of credit expertise and I am pleased that we can offer these career development opportunities.
“Lloyd has impressed as a portfolio manager since he became co-manager on the Old Mutual Corporate Bond fund in May this year and his promotion to lead manager is a natural progression. We are pushing for greater specialism within the team and the announcements concerning Lloyd and Tim reflect this.”
As a result of the move the Adviser Centre has removed the fund from its recommended list.
Gill Hutchison, head of investment research at City Financial, says: “We have met with Mr Harris in his co-manager capacity and at this early stage we have a constructive view, given his experience and his desire to capitalise upon the team’s primary skills in stock picking.
“The expectation is for the relative volatility of the fund to diminish, given that duration positioning will be a less dominant feature of the fund in the future.”
“Nonetheless, this change of management, which brings with it a shift in management style, leads us to remove the fund from our recommended list whilst we assess this development.”