a new start for ashby and ignis uk team

Ignis decision to hire Graham Ashby for its UK Equity Income Fund is a shrewd move, though it is clear it still has much work to do before it can challenge the big boys in the sector.

a new start for ashby and ignis uk team


There are plenty of good reasons why UK Equity Income is the first stop for most Brits when building domestic exposure, not least the roll call of big name fund managers that work within the sector.

With his new fund’s AUM at less than £90m, Ashby should be able to benefit from a flexibility to invest in areas where some of his competitors cannot because of the scale of their multi-billion pound portfolios. However, it is interesting to note that previous manager Martin Brown has blamed the fund’s recent poor showing on the underperformance of mid caps.

Known for his bottom-up investment process, it will be interesting to see how Ashby brings his own ideas into the portfolio – a large-scale reshuffle could be on the cards, so it is important that he is given time to mould the fund to his liking. Brown favoured being overweight in financials and industrials whilst underweighting oil & gas, though this should not necessarily be held to account for his underperformance.

Team building

Ignis has never been especially celebrated for its UK equity expertise, but its more recent attempts to build a successful team in this arena, including the hire of Mark Holden for UK Focus Fund last October, are a statement of intent. Encouragement for Ashby comes from that he has previously worked with Holden, as well as CIO Mark Lovett, during his time at DWS Investments.

The UK equity team is responsible for some £5.7bn, though the retail UK Income Equity Income and UK Focus funds account for less than £200m combined suggesting that institutional clients take precedence. Key personnel changes and the collapse of its satellite boutique structure has dented Ignis’ retail voice in recent years, though a renewed push in UK equities could be the best way to lift its profile.

Is Graham Ashby the right man for Ignis? Let us know your views.




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