Invesco Perpetual's Henley-based CIO Bob Yerbury estimates it will take 12 months for the investment...
Invesco Perpetual's Henley-based CIO Bob Yerbury estimates it will take 12 months for the investment culture in the combined group to be fully established.
Yerbury sees a core part of his role as preserving the Perpetual approach and spinning out any positive influences from it into the Invesco fund manager team.
As part of this commitment to retaining the distinctive Perpetual approach, Yerbury is looking to recruit a North America fund manager to the group's Henley office. The original team, headed up by Ian Brady, left earlier this month to join Schroders.
The Perpetual American Growth unit trust is now being run temporarily by Invesco managers in New York until the replacement is appointed.
Perpetual's North American small-cap money will be run permanently by Invesco staff from Denver.
Yerbury, along with senior UK fund managers such as Stephen Whittaker and Neil Woodford, is keen to stress the positive benefits for managers of being sat very close to colleagues who run money in other markets.
Yerbury is a firm believer that in retail funds the named manager should take a judgement for the risks and rewards on the portfolio.
He said: "The person best qualified to make a judgement on the portfolio is the fund manager. I feel that absolutely passionately and it is what clients are looking for.
"When risk becomes a corporate issue it takes away accountability from the fund manager."
In addition Yerbury said he was looking to retain what he termed "the culture of questioning" at Perpetual.
He added: "No one should be above challenge, be it the fund managers or the chief investment officer. This is a fundamental belief in Henley. You have to give Martyn Arbib credit for that as he always encouraged and occasionally provoked people in the company to question and challenge him. The downside of this is that it can slow the decision making process."
Yerbury, who reports to Tristran Hillgarth, CIO of Invesco Global, and Hugh Ward, Invesco's head of retail in the UK, has spent the last three months in discussion with senior staff in the combined group.
He said: "Invesco brings the whole global theme to us. There is information coming from Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York and Denver which makes us feel part of a broader perspective. There were times when the Henley focus was too narrow.
"Generally speaking, Henley has been about independence of thought but there was insularity at times which was bad."
Yerbury is adamant Perpetual's fund managers will be remaining in Henley.
He said: "It is forever as far as I am concerned. What has been recognised is that having fund managers in the regions does not always work. Sometimes they are not as able to stand apart from what is going on."
Yerbury believes there is much Invesco can learn from Perpetual in what he terms "a merger of equals".
He defined Perpetual as a focused investment process, with a single distribution channel, a single market in retail and a narrow product range.
"In Henley we have an awareness of what we do and why we do it," he said. "I think we can help Invesco to focus a little bit. It is a huge organisation with $400bn globally and has grown very rapidly by acquisition and has lots of different strands."
One of Yerbury's titles following the merger of Perpetual and Invesco is as joint head of European and UK equities alongside Rory Powe. He believes Invesco does not have the same risk controls in place as Perpetual.
Yerbury said: "If you look at Invesco European Growth it clearly had too much in technology. We went through exactly the same problem a year ago. In that case we did not have enough in technology or telecoms and our tracking error was high. Subsequently we have had a good year and they have not."
Invesco European Growth is ranked last out of 101 funds in the Europe ex-UK sector over one year to March 2001. It has produced a fall of 45.18% offer to bid with net income reinvested. The average return for the sector has been -15.65%.
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