Jupiter shutters dwindling European small-cap fund

Firm also changes management on global bond strategy

Matthew Beesley chief executive Jupiter Asset Management

Jupiter has elected to close its Europe (ex UK) Smaller Companies Fund due to dwindling assets under management.

At only $5.2m (£4.2m) in size, Jupiter said in a letter to shareholders that assets in the fund had “fallen below the level at which [it] could be managed cost effectively and remain economically viable”.

The fund, which is managed by Mark Heslop, Mark Nichols, and Phil Macartney, will close for good on 14 June, and shares will be compulsorily redeemed. The firm said it believed the closure was in the best interests of shareholders.

The fund closure follows a difficult Q1 for the asset manager, in which investors pulled £900m from its strategies.

The asset manager’s retail, wholesale and investment trust channels suffered £1bn of outflows in the three months to 31 March.

The day after its Q1 results were released, non-executive chair Nichola Pease stepped down with immediate effect, and was replaced by independent non-executive director, and chair of the audit and risk committee, David Cruickshank.

Bond fund management changes

Jupiter has also announced a change of investment manager for the Merian Global Dynamic Bond Fund.

In a separate letter to shareholders, Jupiter said its Global Unconstrained Fixed Income team would take over management of the £215bn fund’s portfolio, with investment managers Ariel Bezalel and Harry Richards taking charge.

Jupiter said current lead manager Mark Nash would focus on management of the firm’s absolute return fixed-income strategies.

The changes come into effect on 7 June.

In the five years to 30 April, the fund has returned 30.3% compared to a 5.7% return from the benchmark, the Bloomberg Global Aggregate (USD Hedged).

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