Group alters names of £7m european champions and £61m global champions funds
Aberdeen is to close 21 funds in a bid to refocus its business away from the retail market and towards discretionary managers.
Besides removing overlap and uneconomic funds from the range and converting its unit trusts to Oeics, the revamp reflects Aberdeen's change in business strategy.
The group is looking to deliver a range of specialist mandates, such as Asia Pacific and high yield, and a range of specialist products in mainstream markets unconstrained by benchmarks. There are no anticipated redundancies and the changes will be staggered over the next six months, reducing the range from 68 to 47 funds.
Three funds in the onshore range will be cut, with a number of other portfolios having their names and mandates changed. The group's Dublin range will be trimmed by six, with an additional three changes of name and objective. The non-Ucits Luxembourg range faces one wind-up and three mergers.
Gary Marshall, managing director of Aberdeen, said the aim is to provide a range of core and satellite portfolios. The core onshore funds, UK Growth, European Growth and Japan Growth, will retain their names and will continue to be run against a benchmark. The satellite, concentrated stockpicking funds will be presented as the Aberdeen Opportunities range.
The planned changes spell the end of the 'Champions' monicker, with the £7m European Champions fund to be rebadged European Opportunities.
The £61m Global Champions fund will be merged with the £75m Adventurous Managed fund and renamed World Equity. Stephen Docherty, who manages both global portfolios, will manage World Equity, which will be positioned as a core holding.
The group's £120m UK Blue Chip fund, which had been misleadingly benchmarked against the FTSE 350, will be rebranded UK Opportunities, reflecting the changes Yoon-Chou Chong, the group's head of pan-European equities, has already made.
Aberdeen American Opportunities will be rebranded American Value as management of the portfolio is outsourced to Phoenix Partners and Marshall wants the Opportunities brand to reflect Aberdeen's in-house investment process.
The Frontier Markets and Latin American funds will be merged into the group's Emerging Markets fund. Joanne Irvine will run the enlarged Emerging Markets portfolio. The annual management fee on the fund will be raised from 1.25% to 1.5% to bring it into line with the rest of the group's equity fund range.
All other onshore funds, including UK Mid Cap, Asia Pacific and Ethical World, remain unchanged. Aberdeen will retain its retail infrastructure and continue to pay commission to intermediaries but will not advertise into the retail market for the foreseeable future.
Marshall said: 'If we get strong performance and interest in the funds begins to develop, naturally we will have the option of coming back into the retail market in one, two or however many years. We want to be seen as a provider of premium products and believe there is still demand for them.'
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