Jupiter Asset Management has outlined a range of fund closures, mergers, and changes in investment objective as part of a 12-point plan to overhaul the firm’s offerings.
The changes follow the departure of chief executive Andrew Formica in early October 2022 and appointment of his successor, Matthew Beesley (pictured), who has wasted no time putting in place his plans to make Jupiter a leaner company.
The rationalisation plan will impact almost a third of its range of funds, with 25% fewer on offer when the process completes. Jupiter said the focus has been on subscale funds, with 80% of those impacted below £100m.
As part of the outlined plans, the Jupiter Asian fund is set to merge with the Jupiter Asian Income strategy. Shareholders were informed of the proposal in a letter on 11 January.
A Jupiter spokesperson told Portfolio Adviser: ”The Jupiter Asian Income fund is managed to a similar investment objective as the Jupiter Asian fund – to achieve a return, net of fees, higher than the relevant Asia Pacific ex-Japan benchmark index over the long term, while also looking to provide income of at least 20% higher than the target benchmark.
“The fund is run by well-regarded and highly experienced fund manager Jason Pidcock, head of Jupiter’s Asian Income strategy, and has a strong long-term performance track record. Jupiter Asian has been managed by Jason since the departure of its previous manager last year, and as such we believe that a merger is in the best interest of investors, providing continuity of investment exposure and process.”
On 12 January, shareholders of the Merian European Equity (ex UK) fund were informed the strategy is set to be shuttered on 2 March.
A letter to shareholders stated: “This decision follows a detailed review of the fund. The fund has seen limited demand from clients and we believe that it is unlikely to attract new investors in the future.”
Meanwhile, Jupiter has outlined proposals to change the Jupiter Pacific Equity fund’s investment objective. The amended aim will see the fund seek to achieve a long-term capital growth and income.
All of the proposals are subject to shareholder approval.
The spokesperson said: “Amid a rapidly changing investment landscape, it is important that we retain a clear focus on growing and developing our core strategies and design our range accordingly. We have undergone a process to rationalise our fund range, to reduce complexity and to make sure that we’re focused on what we’re good at. While the restructure of our product offering is ongoing, we believe we now have the right fund management teams in place across the range to address our clients’ needs.”
Among other changes, six funds were subject to share class closures in the final half of 2022.
The affected funds were:
- – Jupiter UK Alpha,
- – Jupiter Europe (ex UK) Smaller Companies,
- – Merian Global Equity Income,
- – Merian US Equity Income,
- – Jupiter Emerging Market Debt Income,
- – Merian North American Equity.
In November, the Jupiter Global Equity Income and the Jupiter European Income funds were closed to investors.
Buyback programme reaches completion
On 20 January, the firm announced the completion of a £10m share buyback programme, which saw eight million shares bought back.
Jupiter will cancel the shares, bringing the total number of ordinary shares in issue to just shy of 545 million.
The firm’s share price has plummeted almost 37% in the last year.