Pictet Asset Management has changed the manager line-up on its giant Robotics fund with one of the founding managers stepping back, Citywire Selector can exclusively reveal.
Kharmandarian has now stepped down from the fund and assumed a new role within the thematic equities team. He took up the post on August 1 and will now promote the firm's best ideas thematic strategy.
Replacing Kharmandarian on the fund is John Gladwyn, who was most recently an analyst at Polar Capital, where it is understood he worked as part of the team overseeing the UK group’s flagship technology funds.
Gladwyn joined Pictet this month after two years with Polar Capital and previously worked for BlackRock as an analyst between 2008 and 2014.
The fund remains closed to new investors and the investment philosophy, which focuses on innovations in robotics and artificial intelligence, remains the same despite the portfolio manager change.
Citywire Selector broke the news earlier this year that the Swiss group had imposed soft-close measures on the specialist fund after seeing a huge surge in investor interest.
This saw the Pictet-Robotics fund race to have over €3 billion in assets under management just 18 months since its inception. The fund now boasts €4.18 billion in assets with existing shareholders having added to their exposure.
The Pictet-Robotics fund returned 35.1% in the 22 months since launch, which compares to a 14.8% rise by its Citywire-assigned benchmark, the FTSE World TR USD, over the same period.