Scottish Equitable, now Aegon Scottish Equitable, is to increase the funds on its platform by adding another 30 sector funds to its life, pensions and offshore ranges through the remainder of 2006. The group has already released two tranches with Artemis UK Special Situations recently added to three funds from JP Morgan.
According to Mark Pearson, head of investment, the group was keen to take time choosing the right options. "If we just pick funds for the sake of picking them, it is likely we will end up scaling back," he added.
Of the three JP Morgan funds, the US Equity fund, managed by Rob Weller and Silvio Tavia, is a top-quartile performer over one, three and five years, according to Standard & Poor's, although the Japan and Premier Equity Growth funds are currently not such stellar performers.
"We never base it on performance," said Pearson, however. "We conduct our own internal research in conjunction with OBSR. We find ratings do come into our decision-making, but our rationale is never to hire a star manager unless they have strong team protecting them and us, in case that manager walks away."
Pearson expected Derek Stuart's Artemis Special Situations to fill a major gap in the Scottish Equitable range. "We only had the Fidelity Special Situations link for a week before the decision was made to split the fund," he added. "We had to stop all money going into it from what would have been a number of disgruntled clients."
Senior Managers Regime
Interest rate outlook unchaged
FCA made demands last week
'Unsung' part of FSCS work