Polar beefs out tech team with Neptune hires

Neptune duo both leave manager roles to become analysts

Polar Capital

Polar Capital has appointed ex-Neptune managers Nick Williams and Alastair Unwin as analysts to strengthen its technology team.

Williams (pictured), who joined on 1 June 2019, comes from Neptune Investment Management where he worked on the US investment team for over three years as analyst, senior analyst and assistant fund manager.

At Polar, he will be working as an investment analyst alongside Xuesong Zhao, lead manager of the Polar Capital Automation & Artificial Intelligence (A&AI) fund.

Unwin, who joined on 26 June, will be working as a senior investment analyst for Ben Rogoff and Nick Evans who jointly run the Polar Capital technology team. He was a fund manager at Neptune and previously was co-manager of the American Equities fund at Arbrook Investors.

From managers to analysts

AJ Bell head of active portfolios Ryan Hughes said: “The fact that both previously worked at Neptune is an interesting point and shows how highly Rogoff and Evans rated the team there but clearly the opportunity for both to join the leading technology team in the market was an opportunity too good to miss, even if it meant not being the main portfolio manager.”

Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services, said the pair are joining “one of the few outstanding tech teams in the city”. “Clearly Nick and Ali do not think this is a step backwards or they would not be joining.”

Pace of change picks up in tech

Polar said that technology has been at the core of its firm since its launch in 2001.

Hughes said:  “I view the technology team at Polar Capital to be the best in the market and therefore the strengthening of the team with additional resources is a good move, particularly with the pace of change picking up in the technology sector increasing.

“The team have also got increased pressures with the growing Automation & AI fund and therefore beefing up the resource to support that fund now it is becoming established is a logical next step.”

The hires of Unwin and Williams takes Polar’s technology team to nine.

Evans said: “Nick represents our first dedicated hire for our recently launched A&AI Fund, which looks within and beyond the traditional technology sector for investment opportunities.

“Ali is an experienced technology investor and joins as a senior analyst working alongside Fatima Iu, Xuesong Zhao, Chris Wittstock and the rest of the team on our two core technology funds.”

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