St James’s Place dumps Pimco as fund manager

Michael Bow
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Pimco manager Mihir Worah
Wealth manager St James’s Place (SJP) dealt another blow to under-siege US asset manager Pimco yesterday by firing it as manager of its £944m investment fund.

The financial adviser, listed on the FTSE 100, will ditch the group from the SJP multi-asset fund and appoint a trio of rival firms on 10 November.

Henley-on-Thames based Invesco Perpetual, FTSE 100 fund manager Schroders and US funds firm Payden & Rygel will run the cash.

Pimco has had a rocky year amid internal tensions between executives and the departure of former chief executive Mohamed El-Erian in March.

St James’s investment committee, which tracks the performance of 33 of its fund firms, placed Pimco under review about two months ago and mandated advisers Stamford Associates to evaluate the performance of Pimco’s appointed manager, Mihir Worah.

The decision to sack the US firm is thought to be based on the review and not the sudden departure of Pimco’s founder Bill Gross on Friday.

The appointment of Invesco Perpetual comes after it was fired from managing three funds in April when SJP transferred £3.6bn of assets from Invesco to Neil Woodford’s new funds venture.

SJP, which helps invest around £49bn for wealthy clients, mandates asset management groups to run funds on its behalf which are then offered to its customers.

The group also announced plans to close one income fund, run by George Luckraft of AXA Framlington, to new cash and instead place fresh inflows into a new income fund run by Chris Reid of Majedie Asset Management.

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