UK- Jon Thornton, head of UK equities at Gartmore, has announced a restructuring of the Group’s UK portfolio construction teams following poor performance and a number of recent staff departures.

Thornton has decided to combine the institutional and retail teams into a single group, a move that brings them in line with the European equities team.

Under the new structure, Gartmore will construct portfolios according to risk rather than client type. There will be four levels of risk- Alpha, Alpha Plus, High Alpha and Aggressive Alpha- each feeding off the in-house research.

Thornton has admitted that the performance of a number of UK equity products has been disappointing and that there has been a high staff turnover recently.

Performance targets for the four categories range from 1% to 4% while target tracking error will range from 1.5%-2.5% for the Alpha fund through to a maximum 10% for the Aggressive Alpha fund.

Says Thornton: “this approach to portfolio construction sharpens the focus on decision making, maximises the value-adding work of our in-house research team while simultaneously encouraging teamwork. It also ensures that product structures meet clients’ risk/reward requirements.”

Gartmore has also announced the appointment of Sacha Sadan as senior investment manager in the UK team. He joins from the Universities Superannuation Scheme where he was lead manager on the £4bn large cap in-house fund.

Rob Jones, previously as Singer & Friedlander, recently joined Gartmore as a senior investment manager in the smaller company team. Gartmore’s UK equity department now employs nineteen.