OMGI’s Russ Oxley exits in ‘difference of opinion’

Russ Oxley Old Mutual Global Investors OMGIOld Mutual Global Investors head of fixed income absolute return Russ Oxley has left the firm with immediate effect.

OMGI says Oxley, who manages the Absolute Return Government Bond team, left the business due to “a difference in opinion regarding future strategic direction”.

Oxley joined OMGI in April 2015, before the launch of the fund in October last year.

One difference of opinion is understood to centre on OMGI’s decision not to offer liability driven investments. When Oxley joined the asset manager part of his remit was to focus on LDI, with Oxley saying he planned to “launch a series of products” in the absolute return and LDI space.

However, Fund Strategy understands that this is no longer part of the strategy for the team, with it instead focusing on the rates side of the business.

As a result of his departure, Adam Purzitsky and Paul Shanta have been appointed co-heads of the Absolute Return Government Bond fund, reporting to investment director Paul Simpson.

The duo, who joined the asset manager in early 2015, have co-managed the fund since launch. The investment process will not change as a result of the move, OMGI says.

The asset manager has also added two investment professionals to the absolute return government bond team, Mark Greenwood and Peter Meiklejohn, bringing the team to six.

Shanta says: “We joined Old Mutual Global Investors because we were excited by the scope the firm offered us to manage the investment strategy we’ve spent our careers developing. The ‘CIO-free zone’ philosophy and collaborative, collegiate environment was very attractive to us. It is a highly distinctive part of the firm’s culture, and demonstrates an approach that is now the exception rather than the rule among major asset management firms.”

Purzitsky adds: “Old Mutual Global Investors has made a major investment in the ARGB capability, building sophisticated business infrastructure to support the successful launch of the Old Mutual Absolute Return Government Bond strategy.

“Paul and I, along with other members of the team, have spent most of the last decade developing the strategy and tools we use. We now have advanced technology and one of the best-resourced teams we’ve ever had.”

The Absolute Return Government Bond fund was seeded in October 2015 with £100m from Old Mutual and is already at £447m in assets.

Since launch to end of April, the fund had lost 3.9 per cent against the 0.4 per cent fall in the IA Targeted Absolute Return sector, according to FE data.

“The fund started reasonably well,” Oxley told Fund Strategy previously. “This year there has been a sudden change in the interest rate profile, which hurt the fund. It felt like a violent reassessment of the recovery that was probably not justified.”

In 2011, Oxley launched the Ignis Absolute Return Government Bond fund, which reached£4.2bn in assets, but left the firm after Ignis was sold to Standard Life. Oxley joined OMGI in April 2015, with the Absolute Return Government Bond fund launching in October 2015.