De Blonay set to go it alone

FUND management firm Jupiter said yesterday that Guy de Blonay is to take over as sole manager of its flagship £1bn financial opportunities fund, having co-managed it with star fund manager Philip Gibbs since June.

De Blonay joined Jupiter at the beginning of the year from Henderson, where he managed the New Star global financials fund.

Gibbs’ long-anticipated move will see him continue to oversee all of Jupiter’s financials portfolios, as well as managing the firm’s absolute return and international financials funds, which now have over £800m of assets between them, and the Jupiter Second Split Investment Trust.

Gibbs said it had been an “honour” to have enjoyed such strong support from investors in the financial opportunities fund for the past 13 years, but that his other responsibilities meant it was “prudent” to hand over the sole running of the fund to de Blonay.

Gibbs, renowned for that prudence in his wider approach to fund management, has produced outstanding results for his investors since taking over the financial opportunities fund, returning 766 per cent compared to 51 per cent for the benchmark FTSE financials index.

De Blonay’s aggressive stance has also proved a winner in the past, with his New Star fund returning 173 per cent between December 2001 and October 2009, compared to – 33 per cent for the FTSE global financials index.

Jupiter also yesterday launched its new global emerging markets fund, managed by Kathryn Langridge, a specialist in the emerging markets arena who joined the firm from Lloyd George Asset Management in the summer. The fund will invest in between 60 and 70 emerging market stocks, with a particular emphasis on the financial services and healthcare sectors.

Jupiter currently manages over £1.3bn of assets in the emerging markets space.