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The Threadneedle fund has been managed in an idiosyncratic style by Mark Westwood since 2006. The size of his team is unclear, but it is highly that Westwood has considerable autonomy over the composition of the portfolio.
“He has been entirely consistent with his contrarian strategy throughout his time at the helm of the fund and, despite suffering short-term underperformance, his approach has yielded healthy long-term returns,” said Ng.
Presumably, supporters of Westwood’s approach are focused more on the 10-year than the five-year (and less) time horizon, and have faith in his ability to identify unpopular but undervalued stocks that will eventually generate returns.
Westwood also co-manages the Threadneedle UK Absolute Alpha Fund, and has research responsibility for the mining and financial sectors.
The Blackrock fund has been managed by Nicholas Little since October 2013, and “he is backed up by a strong team of 14 analysts and portfolio managers,” said Ng.
There have been a few personnel changes during the past year, but Ng noted “that suitable replacements have been found and with minimal disruption”.
Little joined Blackrock in 2001, and now also co-ordinates company research into the mining, industrial metals and life assurance sectors.