Equities veteran Harrison to retire

Leigh HarrisonLeigh Harrison, prominent UK equity manager and head of European equities at Columbia Threadneedle, has announced his retirement from the industry.

Harrison’s career spans 32 years in total, including a decade at Columbia Threadneedle. He is currently co-manager of the firm’s £904 million (€1.15 billion) UK Equity Income Alpha fund. His fellow co-manager, Richard Colwell, will take over lead management of the fund when he retires on June 30 this year.

William Davies, currently head of global equities, will effectively replace Harrison as head of European equities, under the newly created title of head of equities for Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

A spokesperson for the firm said Harrison’s retirement had been known about, and planned for, for some time. It was effectively trailed in advance last year, when his responsibilities began to be assigned to others. In particular, he stood down as lead manager on the £3.2 billion UK equity income fund.

He joined Columbia Threadneedle in 2006, from Credit Suisse Asset Management. There, he ran the group’s Income fund, and was head of UK equities. Previously, he held the positions of associate director at Rowan Dartington and director at Hill Samuel Investment Management.

The news follows last month's departure of Campbell Fleming, the firm’s regional chief executive, who joined Aberdeen Asset Management.

Columbia Threadneedle manages assets of around £323 billion.

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