It has been announced that Richard Plackett will step down as co-manager of the BlackRock UK Special Situations Fund on 30 September 2015. He will also retire from the investment group later this year.
Luke Chappell has been appointed co-manager of the fund alongside Richard Plackett and Roland Arnold with immediate effect. Richard Plackett will remain co-manager of the fund until the end of September, and will assist with the transition of his responsibilities prior to leaving the group. Roland Arnold has co-managed the fund since August 2012 and will maintain his existing role on the fund.
Luke Chappell has 25 years' experience working as a UK equity portfolio manager. He joined BlackRock 15 years ago, and has been co-head of the UK equity team for the past decade. He has co-managed the BlackRock UK Focus Fund, which is only available to institutional investors, since October 2011. Over this time, the fund has grown by 46.9%, outperforming the 43.9% delivered by the FTSE All Share index, but underperforming the IA UK All Companies sector return of 51.6%. Please remember past performance is not a guide to future returns.
|Annual percentage growth|
| July 10 -
| July 11 -
| July 12 -
| July 13 -
| July 14 -
|BlackRock UK Focus||N/A||N/A||14.07%||11.05%||8.07%|
|FTSE All Share||29.05%||-2.07%||18.02%||12.04%||3.00%|
|IA UK All Companies||27.04%||-4.09%||21.07%||13.07%||6.09%|
Past performance is not a guide to future returns.
Source: Lipper IM* to 01/07/2015
Luke Chappell and Roland Arnold will continue to adopt the UK Special Situations Fund's existing, flexible investment strategy. While Luke Chappell will predominantly provide large and medium-sized company ideas for the portfolio, Roland Arnold will continue to focus on higher-risk small and medium-sized businesses. They will run a concentrated portfolio, which allows each stock to have a greater impact on performance however this is a higher-risk strategy. The fund will also continue to have the backing of BlackRock's established and well-resourced UK equities team.
In our view, this change in management should not be taken as a signal to make any changes to a portfolio, providing the portfolio's objectives continue to be met. That said, we initially supported the fund due to the experience and stock-picking talent of Richard Plackett. In light of his upcoming departure, we feel it is prudent to remove the fund from the Wealth 150 list of our favourite funds across the major sectors. We will be meeting the new manager in due course, and at this point we will inform investors if our views change.