Schroders has appointed Mark Pignatelli as head of its European equities team, writes Leo Bland. Pig...
Schroders has appointed Mark Pignatelli as head of its European equities team, writes Leo Bland.
Pignatelli is moving from Baring Asset Management where he was head of European equities and has been running Baring European Growth since 1995. Schroders has traditionally appointed senior fund managers from within its own ranks rather than recruiting those of other investment houses but the move is being aimed at quickly boosting its profile in European equities where does not have a reputation for strong performance.
At Barings, Pignatelli was responsible for a team running around £4bn and he has been at the group for 13 years. He will manage the Schroder European Growth fund currently run by Geraldine Wright.
Wright will remain working in the Schroder European team. Pignatelli has resigned from his post at Barings and is expected to join Schroders in three months time.
Neil Robson, previously Pignatelli's deputy on the Barings European desk for four years, will take over as head of European equities at the group with immediate effect. Robson also takes over as lead fund manager of Baring European Growth. He currently runs Baring Europa, an offshore Dublin fund, for the group. Sarah Skinner, currently manager of the Baring Europe Select unit trust, takes over as deputy head of European equities.
Pignatelli and Robson were the main architects of a reformed approach to European investment which was adopted by Barings from 1996. The investment house's approach was changed from looking at Europe on a country-by-country basis to treating Europe more as one market. This led to more of a focus on sectors and stocks rather than on individual countries.
Pignatelli and Robson also introduced a system which split the European stock markets into three broad sectors, which are each given an equal portfolio weighting. These sectors include 'domestic captive' stocks which are seen as more driven by domestic economic factors such as construction and utilities and a sector termed 'industry specific' that is those stocks driven more by the economic cycle such as engineering companies.
The third sector which Pignatelli and Robson introduced to categorise the European market is termed 'company specific' and includes growth stocks which have a strong franchise such as leisure and media, pharmaceuticals and food retailing.
Pignatelli will bring the investment process he helped to create at Barings to running the Schroder European Growth fund although details have yet to be finalised.
Baring European Growth has an frAA rating and is eighth out of 88 funds in the Europe excluding UK sector over three years on growth of 121.1%.
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