OMGI continues diversification push post spin-off

But the fund group’s future will depend on the strength of its UK equities brand

Old Mutual


Old Mutual Global Investors (OMGI) has hired an assistant portfolio and a credit analyst in its latest attempt to beef up its fixed income team since becoming a standalone single-strategy fund business.

The first appointee Patty Cao will work alongside Delphine Arrighi in managing the group’s two emerging market debt funds. This is Cao’s first turn as an assistant manager after working as an emerging market analyst for CQS and then a research analyst in Aberdeen Asset Management’s fixed income division.

Przemyslaw Pietraszek has also been added as a credit analyst. He will report to lead credit manager Lloyd Harris and review existing and potential investment grade and high yield opportunities.

Future depends on UK equities

Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing at Willis Owen, said it would be “careless” for the group to give up its UK equities strength, which he thinks will be key to its growth now that its separated from the multi-strategy business, which has become Quilter Investors. Depending on the strategy going forward “we’ll get a better idea of Buxton’s skill as CEO”, he added.

But he said free from the shadow of its parent group, it will be easier for OMGI to pursue other areas like fixed income.

“Now that OMGI is free to navigate its own course and Buxton can spend more time on growing the business, bonds is a natural area to start diversifying its offering. It will take time to rebuild and even longer to be held in the same regard as the UK equities team.”

Some have suggested that OMGI might downplay its fixed income post spin-out given its chief executive’s background in UK equities. In an exclusive interview with Portfolio Adviser earlier this year CEO Richard Buxton (pictured) denied the firm was shifting gears from fixed income only for the firm to reveal more restructuring and staff departures a month later.

The asset manager will be re-branded as Merian Global Investors this autumn, severing the last of its ties with former parent company Old Mutual Wealth itself rebranded to Quilter.

UK Smid hire

In addition to the bolstering its fixed income team, OMGI has also hired Claudia Ho as a UK equity analyst on the small to mid-cap (Smid) team.

Joining from long/short European focused firm Pelham Capital last Thursday, Ho will research investment views on specific sectors and come up with new investment ideas and appraise existing holdings. She will report to head of the UK Smid team Dan Nickols.

Lowcock noted Buxton’s firm has a strong reputation in UK equities but cannot rest on its laurels.

“OMGI had a strong UK equities team before Richard Buxton joined and still have a strong team today,” he said. “So, adding an analyst in that space is just adding strength to the team as it needs to continue to evolve to remain a leader in that space.”

Buxton agreed that hiring the right talent is paramount.

“This group of hires adds to our continued development of an investment-led, specialised asset management business that offers differentiated investment strategies,” the OMGI CEO said. “We understand the value our clients ascribe to genuine active management, so investing in talent to support our offering is key.”