Former Cazenove European fund manager Chris Rice is to launch a boutique fund management firm with ex-colleague Tim Russell, Investment Week can reveal.
The new firm will trade under the name Sanditon Asset Management, and will launch in the second quarter of 2014, subject to FCA approval. The company is named in homage to Jane Austen, sharing the name of the writer's unfinished novel.
The boutique is likely to offer four products initially - long-only and long/short UK funds managed by Russell, and long-only and long/short European funds managed by Rice.
The pair have recruited Rupert Tyer, who resigned his directorship at Cazenove in July, to serve on the board of the new company,
City financier Neil Canetty-Clarke is also understood to be joining the firm as a non-executive director.
The business will target fund of funds managers, and a discretionary and advisory audience with its UCITs-compliant fund offerings, which will have high performance targets.
Russell (pictured) and Rice first joined forces at HSBC Asset Management, running the UK and European equity funds respectively, before leaving to join colleague Julie Dean at Cazenove in January 2003.
Russell departed Cazenove in July 2011 to take a career break after nine years at the firm, and Rice took over his role as head of pan-European equities.
While at the firm, Rice developed a reputation for delivering solid returns despite widespread turmoil hitting the eurozone during the financial crisis.
He favoured blue-chip quality stocks over value names, with top holdings including Deutsche Bank, Nestle and German pharmaceutical firm Bayer. However, as these stocks have become more expensive after a strong run, Rice looks likely to focus more on value stocks within his new portfolios.
In the ten years to 28 June, Rice returned 168.2% compared to the IMA Europe ex UK sector average of 145.6%, according to Morningstar.
Rice's fund was also one of the top performers in the sector in the year up to his departure, returning 43.4% versus the sector average return of 41.2%.
Rice - one of the industry's longest-serving European equity managers - became the first big-name manager to exit the Cazenove following its takeover by Schroders, which boasts a sizeable European equities team.
The manager left the firm in July with Cazenove Pan Europe fund manager Steve Cordell assuming responsibility for Rice's flagship £955m Cazenove European Fund.
Russell and Rice could not be reached for comment.
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