UK - Niche fund manager Lombard Odier has lost more UK business and concedes it is being hit by the bear market.
The company will no longer act as manager for the £2.2bn Co-operative Wholesale Society Pension Fund.
The Co-operative Wholesale Society said Lombard Odier had not been replaced. Instead, the assets under Lombard Odier’s care had been transferred to another of the fund’s managers.
CWS head of pensions Alan Murphy said: “Taking into account the present volatility in the market, this was an interim review of the fund’s investment management structure – there will be an asset liability study early in the new year.”
Murphy refused to specify the type or size of the Lombard Odier mandate.
The scheme’s other managers are Deutsche Asset Management, Fidelity, Legal & General Investment, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and Morley Fund Management.
Lombard Odier International Portfolio Management client servicing manager, Edward Jones, said: “It is a difficult time for growth management – we’re investing with the long term in mind. It is a bear market, so market conditions are not very good for our style.
“People are moving into defensive stocks, and they are very nervous about the growth area. At this point we are bullish. We are confident that we will see things pick up shortly.”
He said Lombard was winning new business from US clients, including a $155m international equities mandate, and two fixed interest briefs, worth $180m and $800m.
“The US market looks more closely at growth versus value, and we are growth managers,” he said.
In the last 18 months, Lombard Odier has lost at least two other mandates – from the ICI Pension Fund and the Costain Group Pension Scheme. However, spokesmen from both companies’ pension funds said that investment strategy – rather than Lombard’s performance – was behind the trustees’ decisions.
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