Exeter Fund Managers is looking to launch its first ever direct equity fund with a FTSE 350 vehicle ...
Exeter Fund Managers is looking to launch its first ever direct equity fund with a FTSE 350 vehicle to be run by Geoff Miller.
Exeter already has one Oeic fund and nine unit trusts, all of which buy investment trust paper, but the group is now looking to expand its investment scope with a further Oeic launch.
Miller has been with Exeter for the past two and a half years and was previously investment director at Brewin Dolphin.
While Exeter has never run a directly invested open-ended fund it does have some pure equity holdings in its unit trust portfolios and all these are run by Miller. Exeter Capital Growth has 17% in direct equities while Equity Income has some 50%.
The group's existing Oeic has a minimum investment of £50,000 and Investment Week understands this is likely to remain for the upcoming UK fund. The product will be aimed at quasi-institutional fund buyers such as private client departments, fund of funds managers and fee-based intermediaries.
Once the UK product is up and running Exeter will look to bring out a European vehicle. For this it aims to recruit externally rather than contract out management to a third party.
Ian Jolliffe, managing director of Exeter's unit trust division, said the group did not expect to pull in significant amounts of money until such funds posted three year track records.
'You have to start now if you want to broaden your horizons,' he said.
Jolliffe, previously at Hill Samuel, is looking to build Exeter's retail assets up to £600m over three years from its current base of £427m.
Last year Exeter began offering renewal commission on its unit trust business to encourage intermediary interest in its products. Some 92% of its unit trust business now comes via this route.
In March 2001 it linked some of its unit trusts to Winterthur's range of pension funds and Jolliffe is keen to sign up with other life company distributors.
He said: 'This gives us a different audience, namely pensions intermediaries.'
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An added tier of asset management can of course deliver additional benefits for certain investors, writes Graham Bentley - just be sure you can justify it to the regulator and, especially, the client