The FSA Spy market buzz – 24 March 2023
Bitcoin rolling futures, new fund pricing models gather pace, greenbleaching, sustainable bonds (not), thematic investing at the top; consultant jokes, Munger’s wisdom and much more.
The manager of the Blackrock fund is Nicholas Little, who took the lead of the fund since 2012 after joining the firm in 2001, according to Brunt. Besides the UK fund, Little also has been a backup manager for a small-cap hedge fund strategy since 2016.
Brunt said that Little is a member of a well-resourced UK equity team, which is comprised of 12 individuals.
Turning to the Jupiter fund, Brunt said that the product has been managed by Ben Whitmore since he joined the firm in 2006.
Before Jupiter, Whitmore was at Schroders, which he joined in 1994 as an insurance analyst before becoming a UK equity fund manager in 1998.
Whitmore was working alone until 2013, when the firm hired Dermot Murphy from Fidelity. Murphy joined the firm as a dedicated analyst and then was promoted to assistant manager in April 2016.
While both managers are experienced, the Blackrock fund obviously has more resources than the Jupiter product, according to Brunt.
But the lack of Jupiter’s resources is not a huge concern for him.
“The reason is that the process that Whitmore follows is very prescriptive. He is not trying to cover all of the companies in the market and just looks at less than 100 names. And he has been looking at UK companies since 1994. That is a very long time, so he has good knowledge and a good database of companies already.”
However, Brunt noted that Whitmore and Dermot also started co-managing a global equities strategy in 2016, which has caused some concern over their workload.
“It is a slight concern for us because it is one thing that they are investing in a UK company, and it is another when you are looking globally. The level of due diligence just takes more time,” he said.
Although Jupiter plans to add additional resources to the team, Brunt is still keeping an eye on the global equity mandate to ensure it does not become a distraction for Whitmore.
Part of Mark Allen.