BlackRock to reshuffle after Lyttleton exits

FUND management group BlackRock has parted company with one of its longest serving London-based fund managers, prompting it to reshuffle its UK equities team and merge two of its funds.

Mark Lyttleton, managing director on the UK equity team, which manages over £21bn, will leave the firm at the end of April, BlackRock said yesterday.

Nick Little, currently a director on the UK equity team, will take control of Lyttleton’s UK Dynamic fund, which will be merged into the BlackRock UK fund.

Little was promoted to co-manager of the BlackRock UK Fund alongside Lyttleton in September 2011.

Meanwhile Nigel Ridge, a managing director at the firm, will manage the UK Absolute Alpha fund with existing co-manager Nick Osborne.

“Nick Little, Nigel Ridge and Nick Osborne are key members of the BlackRock UK Equity team, which is one of the largest in London ... and are able to draw upon the strength and depth of the broader team,” BlackRock said in a statement.

According to fund industry tracker Lipper, Lyttleton’s UK Dynamic and UK Absolute Alpha funds have seen combined net outflows of about £900m over the 12 months to the end of February.

Returns for the funds over the year have also underperformed. Returns stand 3.3 percentage points below the peer group average for the Absolute Alpha fund, and 8.7 percentage points for the UK Dynamic product according to Lipper data.

Lyttleton, who took a three month leave of absence in 2012, traces his career at the firm back more than 20 years.

He joined Mercury Asset Management in 1992, later acquired by Merrill Lynch, which in turn merged its fund unit with BlackRock in 2006.