Will Andrew Jackson fill the ‘huge’ gap at Miton?

Andrew Jackson 700Andrew Jackson will be a good fit at Miton Group as a replacement of George Godber and Georgina Hamilton, experts say, but advisers should remain vigilant on his management style before making any choice.

Miton appointed Jackson as fund manager for the Miton UK Value Opportunities Fund following last month’s surprising resignation of Godber and Hamilton.

Jackson was previously fund manager at Ecclesiastical, now EdenTree, where he managed the UK Equity Growth Fund from November 2003 to July 2015, returning 263.7 per cent compared to 151.5 per cent for the FTSE All Share Index.

Square Mile head of investment Jason Broomer says Godber and Hamilton left a “huge gap” to fill when they left the small boutique, but it is still early days to see what the move means.

Godber and Hamilton, who had been with Miton for three years and will move to Polar Capital, are currently serving out their respective notice periods of 12 months and six months.

Hargreaves Lansdown Laith Khalaf says: “It’s been a quick turnaround and Miton have clearly taken decisive action to get a replacement for the exiting duo sooner rather than later.

“Jackson has a decent track record, though as with any manager change there will be differences in style which investors need to weigh up when deciding what to do.”

Thomson Reuters Lipper head of UK and Ireland research Jake Moeller adds Jackson’s reputation is “very good” and that he’ll fit well in the new business.

He says: “Miton and EdenTree are very similar type of houses, both boutique-like and with a similar culture so Jackson will fit in very well.

“EdenTree has got quite a large insurance business and Miton as well and it has been building business.”

Industry insiders have speculated whether Godber and Hamilton’s departure will lead to an exodus of assets, arguing that investors pick the fund for the managers rather than Miton.

Following the news of Godber and Hamilton’s exit, the fund has shrunk to £589m from £869m, according to the latest fact sheet.

But Tilney Bestinvest managing director Jason Hollands says Jackson’s impressive credentials alone should be enough to convince investors to remain in the fund.

Holland says: “Andrew Jackson isn’t a manager I’m familiar with but his past performance numbers at EdenTree are undoubtedly not just good but actually very good and this should give investors in the Miton UK Value Opportunities fund reason to pause for thought before hitting the exit door.

“He’s beaten the market in 62 per cent of the months he has managed money, which is a very high ratio, but this rises to 74 per cent of the time in down months, which suggestions he’s done a gone job in tougher times.”

However, Hollands says the mandate on the Miton fund is a little different to Jackson’s previous fund because of its clear value style. He says investors who want that approach might still be inclined to follow Godber and Hamilton to Polar Capital or look at alternative UK value funds such as Henry Dixon’s Man GLG Undervalued Assets fund.

Hollands says“We don’t hold the Miton fund but I do think this hire means advisers should find out more about how Andrew Jackson plans to run the portfolio before deciding whether to move their clients out of it.”