closure of some regional desks is part of strategy to become specialist investment house
Cazenove will seek to close a number of its regional desks, repositioning itself as a specialist investment house.
The group has already closed its internal emerging market equity desk and outsourced management of its emerging market fund to Angus Tulloch at First State Investments.
Although Cazenove refused to comment on plans for its Japanese, Far Eastern and US desks, Investment Week understands each is to close.
Cazenove is expected to outsource the management of its assets in each region to external fund management groups following the example it set with First State Investments.
On the deal with First State, Cazenove said it would not market the fund, leaving little or no conflict with First State's own product.
With the desks closed, Cazenove will become a very focused investment house, specialising in four main asset classes. It is primarily set to become known as a UK equities house, with Tim Russell and Julie Dean, who the group poached from HSBC Asset Management, providing high-profile reputations as UK growth and income and purer growth strategies.
In addition, it has a strong fixed interest and UK corporate bond capacity, a strong multi-manager proposition distributed by M&G, as well as a well-respected pan-European desk now headed by Chris Rice, another former HSBC fund manager poached at the same time as Russell and Dean.
The process of closing desks and outsourcing management of funds begins with the requirement for FSA approval of plans before any proposition can be put forward to unit holders in affected funds. Investment Week understands this approval is still outstanding.
By selecting external managers able to demonstrate better track records than Cazenove itself, the group hopes the move will not attract the ire of its existing unit holders.
As with most investment houses, it is keen to cut costs, particularly as its cost base has risen considerably since taking on Russell, Dean, Rice and several other former HSBC managers.
According to the marketing literature on Cazenove's website, in addition to the Japanese, North American and Pacific funds, it also offers a number of managed funds, four fixed interest funds and four pan-European equity portfolios, including UK equity, UK smaller companies and European equity.
It has also indicated it will launch a UK Growth & Income style fund such as Russell managed at HSBC.
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