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Tom Dobell steps down from "mammoth" M&G Recovery fund

Equities_going_upTom Dobell is to step down from managing the £1.4 billion (€1.5 billion) M&G Recovery Fund, which is said to have suffered from performance problems, and will leave the firm at the end of December.

Michael Stiasny will take over the management when Dobell leaves and there will be a “refreshed investment approach” that will see an increased focus on the “unloved midsized companies". These companies have contributed most to value creation over the fund’s lifetime, M&G said.

However, there will be no change to the fund’s investment objective and policy.

Dobell has been with M&G since 1992 as a UK equity manager on the segregated pension fund desk and has managed the Recovery fund since 2000, delivering a 127.7% cumulative return after fees, compared to the FTSE All Share return of 118.4%, since then.

Jack Daniels, chief investment officer at M&G, said: “I’d like to thank Tom for his dedication to the M&G Recovery Fund and its investors. While the environment for his style of investing over the past decade has been very challenging, his effort and commitment on behalf of customers have never faltered. He steps down after 28 years at M&G with our best wishes for this next chapter of his life."

Daniels added: “Recovery investing has been a cornerstone offering within our equities business for over 50 years.  With a highly experienced investor in Michael Stiasny and a renewed focus on the M&G Recovery Fund’s core strengths, we believe we are well positioned to meet the Fund’s objectives and deliver investors the returns they expect.”

Dobell said: “I’d like to thank M&G for the opportunities it has given me throughout my career.  It’s been an immense privilege to manage the M&G Recovery Fund, even throughout challenging investment cycles.  I leave the fund’s investors in the capable hands of Michael Stiasny and I wish them the very best for the future.”

Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing at Willis Owen, said the "mammoth" Recovery fund has been underperforming "for years as recovery investing has been out of favour for a long time".

Lowcock added: "His resignation will be tough as Tom has diligently executed the fund's process and philosophy.  However a change in management makes sense to take the fund forward in a changing world, where recovery investing may need a fresh perspective as we move through the pandemic."

Stiasny, meanwhile, has been with M&G for 20 years and has headed the equity research team and has managed funds including Charifund, the M&G UK Income Distribution Fund and the M&G Dividend Fund.

He will continue to manage his existing funds alongside the M&G Recovery Fund but the team will be “strengthened with a senior hire”.

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