Aberdeen's third head of UK equities in eight months, Chong Yoon-Chou, has no previous experience in...
Aberdeen's third head of UK equities in eight months, Chong Yoon-Chou, has no previous experience in domestic equities.
The move is part of the group's plan to restructure its investment process which has also led to a number of cuts to its investment teams.
Simon Atherton and Neil Cumming have both left the UK equities team and Rupert Della-Porta, head of US equities, and Rupert Howard on the US team have also departed, with Alex Ingham being appointed to succeed Della-Porta.
Yoon-Chou will become lead manager on Cumming's UK Growth Fund and Atherton's UK Mid-Cap and UK Blue Chip funds, while Ingham will be lead manager on all the US portfolio's left behind by Della-Porta.
Katherine Garrett-Cox, chief investment officer at Aberdeen, said performance in the UK was not panning out as the group wanted and it was felt the whole investment process needed to be sharpened with the resultant appointment of Yoon-Chou.
Yoon-Chou works with Hugh Young on the Asian desk and, while he has no previous experience in UK equities, Garrett-Cox said this was not as important as his overall investment process.
At its core, Yoon-Chou's approach is characterised by fundamental, independent research, discipline and clear and decisive portfolio positioning, according to Aberdeen. Garrett-Cox said his emphasis on fundamental analysis means having a more intense focus on company meetings.
Yoon-Chou was charged with taking this process to Aberdeen Australia to turn around the group's poor performance and reengineer its investment process and Garrett-Cox said within six to nine months returns had begun to improve. Yoon-Chou worked in Australia from April 2001 to September 2002, in this time he ran the Aberdeen Australia Equity Fund.
Changes to the US team followed a review of Aberdeen's product offerings. It was decided to keep the outsourcing arrangement it has with Phoenix Investment Partners for its aggressive US fund. Aberdeen's London office will restrict itself to managing core mainstream risk constrained but value added funds.
Garrett-Cox said: 'Losing Della-Porta and Howard is no reflection on their performance. The bottom-line is that we recognised we could do what we were doing with smaller teams.'
Standard & Poor's has placed all the affected funds under review.
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Switching 'hard and expensive'
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