Writing in the trust’s final results for the 2014 year, chairman, Anthony Lea wrote: “With effect from 30 April 2015, the Company’s investments will be co-managed by Evy Hambro and Olivia Markham. The present co-manager, Catherine Raw, has informed the Board she is to take up a corporate position within the mining sector and will be leaving BlackRock on 30 April”
According to Lea, she will be replaced as co-manager on the fund by Olivia Markham, who has been with BlackRock’s natural resources team in 2011 and will take her place alongside Evy Hambro from 30 April.
Markham will also replace Raw as co-manager of the BlackRock Global Funds (BGF) World Mining Fund
Prior to joining BlackRock, Markham was head of the European Mining team at UBS and has also covered Australian miners for Merrill Lynch in Sydney and worked within BHP Billiton’s M&A team.
On the BlackRock Natural Resources Growth & Income Funds as well as the offshore BGF version, Raw is one of four co-managers including – Desmond Cheung, Joshua Freedman and Tom Holl.
Raw will not be replaced on these funds; they will continue to be managed by Cheung, Freedman and Holl, BlackRock said.
It added: “The Natural Resources Equity team is one of the largest investment managers of dedicated resource sector assets in the world, managing $18bn in AUM as at the end of February 2015. With sixteen dedicated team members, it continues to be one of the best resourced and most experienced in its field.”
The news comes at the end of a tough year for the mining trust, which included the writing down of a significant royalty position in London Mining. A position that, Lea said, was impacted by two unforeseen factors: “the rapid and substantial decline in iron ore pricing following a collapse in Chinese demand and the spread of Ebola in West Africa.”
He added: “The Board is fully aware of the resultant effect on shareholders and, on behalf of my fellow Directors, I should like to offer our most sincere regret.”
Over the twelve months the trust’s NAV fell 26.4%, which saw the company’s share price down 30% as a result.