Artemis recruits analysts as personal reasons see Stephen Moore exit

William Warren to take over on one of the few remaining 130-30 funds

Artemis has revealed its US long/short manager Stephen Moore is exiting for personal reasons with co-manager William Warren (pictured) to take over the £2.7bn worth of funds.

Moore will remain on the US Absolute Return and US Extended Alpha funds until 30 September. Portfolio Adviser understands he is returning to Australia.

Two analysts are also in the final stages of the recruitment process and will specialise in tech, which had been Warren’s speciality. Portfolio Adviser understands they are currently US based and awaiting visas.

Moore and Warren joined Artemis in 2014 from Columbia Threadneedle.

Warren said he did not anticipate any major changes to the positioning or investment process of the funds. “We feel they are positioned appropriately for the current environment and our process will continue to be driven by the same stock level risk/reward framework we have used successfully for the last 10 years.”

Downside protection as markets get toppy

Shore Capital director Ben Yearsley said he swapped into the US Extended Alpha fund just over a year ago having previously held Artemis US Select, the long-only fund managed by Cormac Weldon.

“I’m reasonably relaxed about the whole thing,” he said of the manager change, stating Warren has plenty of experience. He had worked alongside Moore on the Threadneedle US Extended Alpha and US Absolute Alpha funds since he joined the firm in 2008 from Lehman Brothers.

Architas manager Nathan Sweeney spoke highly of Moore’s funds earlier in the year noting he had a strong sell discipline. Smith & Williamson and Omnis also have allocations to the fund in their multi-manager ranges.

Last of the 130-30 funds

Yearsley said it was unfortunate 130-30 funds, like US Extended Alpha, which can go short 30% and take on 30% of gearing, are now few and far between.

He swapped into the fund as markets started to get toppy thanks to the short-selling element.

“Especially with the way markets are valued over there, I like having that little bit of protection at the moment. I wanted this little bit of downside protection while still having access to the market.”

He added: “I don’t mind if it lags the S&P a bit because if we do have a market fall it should more than make up for it.”

US Alpha has outperformed the S&P 500 over the last three years returning 64.6% compared to 57.4% in the index, according to FE Analytics. US Select has returned 76.1% over the period.

US Extended Alpha had net exposure to the market totalling 89.1%, according to its July factsheet, with long exposure at 114% and shorts at -25%.

Artemis fund performance

6m1yr3yr
Artemis US Extended Alpha I Acc GBP in GB23.7516.3664.55
Artemis US Absolute Return I Hedged Acc GBP in GB1.212.087.01
Artemis US Select I Acc GBP in GB28.5417.2476.11
S&P 500 TR in GB23.8916.6657.40
Source: FE Analytics

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