July 2007

MADATE WATCH: JP Morgan AM awarded with Skandia bond appointment

Skandia Investment Management has selected JP Morgan Asset Management to run an £18m (€26.6m) mandate for its Bond Income fund. The mandate is one of seven retail funds and bespoke mandates that make up Skandia’s £97 million Bond Income fund. Muzinich previously ran the mandate, which accounts for 19% of the fund. Skandia said it continually monitors its funds and keeps a “reserve bench” of managers whose styles blend well with the other managers in the fund, and with the overall aims of the fund itself.   The JP Morgan Asset Management mandate will be managed by Rob Cook. Cook and his team focus on identifying quality businesses that are niche players with a distinct competitive advantage. Within their analysis, a significant emphasis is put on the management of a company – an area that they feel competitors do not spend enough time focusing on. In their view, management is pivotal and does not only influence faith in a company’s fundamentals, but also significantly changes a company’s financial performance.  One of JP Morgan’s key strengths, according to Skandia, is that the team reviews the portfolio from a top-down economic perspective and constantly challenges individual positions, thus ensuring that members of the team adapt their investment process to reflect changing market needs.   James Millard, chief investment officer of Skandia, says: “We have been very impressed by Rob Cook and his team’s investment approach has delivered some impressive results. We believe JP Morgan will be an excellent addition to our Bond Income Blend – bringing a different focus towards credit selection that is complementary to our existing managers in the fund.”   Mike Parsons, head of UK distributor sales at JP Morgan Asset Management, said: “Rob and his team are going from strength to strength and have an excellent process of analysis in place which is serving them well.” Skandia Investment Management was launched in 2003 and aims at the intermediary market. A key component of the business is having one of the largest teams of investment professionals in the UK who focus solely on selecting and blending managers. © fe July 2007

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