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Barings to focus on consistency in aftermath of Stanion departure

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Baring Asset Management has said it intends to convey a sense of “consistency” after the departure of key multi-asset figure Percival Stanion.

Stanion, alongside colleagues Andrew Cole and Shaniel Ramjee, are to leave after a combined 48 years of service with Barings to head up a new multi-asset offering at Swiss rival Pictet Asset Management.

Stanion, who joined Barings in 2001 and led the company’s multi-asset offering, was known as a pioneer in the space, before announcing his defection to Pictet in early August.

In response, Barings’ then CIO Marino Valensise moved over to become head of multi-asset to lead the flagship offering as clients reacted to Stanion’s departure.

According to FE Analytics, a fund research portal, Barings’ multi-asset fund suffered net outflows of £364m (€465m) in August despite seeing average monthly net inflows of more than £50m in the previous six months.

Valensise told IPE the company was now in the process of managing the transition from the old management team to the new.

He said his new role would see take him full ownership of the multi-asset business and chair the strategic policy group, which dictates asset allocation.

“We had a mixed reaction from the consultant base,” Valensise said, “with some deciding to stay and others deciding to leave because the change was a material one.

“We are now meeting with a large number of clients directly to deliver our message, which is one of consistency.”

He said the process would be ongoing for the next few months, but he said, with his experience as CIO and working in the strategic policy group and multi-asset team, he was confident.

Barings has hired Ken Lambden, previously of UK-based rival Schroders, to take the helm as CIO after Valensise’s shift to head of multi-asset.

However, Valensise said his transition away from CIO began before the announcement of Stanion’s departure.

“After the opportunity [to be head of multi-asset] materialised, I was very interested,” he said. “I wanted to do something more linked to money management.

“So, to some extent, this was an opportunity for me. I was already part of the asset allocation decision entity and hired most of the team members. So I call this an opportunity.”

He said once client management had finalised, the multi-asset team would once again focus on maintaining its position within the market, while introducing new products and diversifying globally.

“In the UK, we will just have to continue delivering investment performance,” Valensise said.

“Going forward, we will be treating outgoing clients and remaining unit holdings fairly. We are keen to do a good job there.

“However, the composition of the business tomorrow will be different to yesterday. In five years’ time, the multi-asset business will probably be more diversified and international.”

The trio’s move to Pictet came after the heating up of the multi-asset and diversified growth fund (DGF) rivalry in the UK.

Recent moves saw Standard Life Investments (SLI) lose several key personnel to rival managers, with staff moving to Invesco Perpetual to help launch a multi-asset offering.

Key SLI-figure Euan Munro also left the Scottish manager to take up the chief executive role at Aviva Investors, which in turn also launched a DGF.

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