Jupiter fund to be run by de Blonay

 
City A.M. Reporter
Investment house Jupiter said one of its highest-profile managers will take the lead role in its £1bn Financial Opportunities fund from the start of next year.

Guy de Blonay will be lead manager, while incumbent Philip Gibbs will be his deputy and retain oversight of all the firm's financials portfolios as head of the financials team.

Swiss-born de Blonay joined Jupiter a year ago to co-manage the Financial Opportunities fund with Gibbs.

But with Gibbs running six funds, concern had been raised by independent financial advisers – who advise retail clients – that running such a large range may put pressure on performance.

Jupiter said Gibbs will focus on managing the £634m Absolute Return fund and the £170m International Financials fund.

"It is prudent to shortly hand day-to-day management of the Financial Opportunities fund to Guy," Gibbs said in a statement.

Many had speculated Gibbs would hand over the reins of the flagship financials fund to de Blonay. In an interview with Reuters in January, Gibbs said he would be involved in the fund for the "foreseeable future."

The fund has grown 806.4 per cent since it launched in 1997, and was one of the few financial funds to sustain growth during the global crisis, returning 16 percent since the end of October 2007, according to Lipper data.

It slipped 4.71 per cent in the 12 months to the end of October 2010.

A law graduate from the University of Geneva, de Blonay joined Jupiter from Anglo-Australian rival Henderson Group where he had managed the New Star Global Financials fund since 2001.

Jupiter has delighted investors since listing in June, its shares climbing more than 70 per cent from its flotation price, buoyed by strong sales of its fund products.