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Polar Capital to bulk up investment teams after poaching star pair

Polar Capital to bulk up investment teams after poaching star pair

Polar Capital has set out plans to boost its investment teams after poaching a pair of Citywire AAA-rated trio UK equity experts earlier this month.

In a stock market update, the boutique said it was upgrading its number of targeted investment teams for the first since the business was established in 2001.

This follows on from George Godber and Georgina Hamilton being brought on board from rival group Miton. The pair had co-run the UK-domiciled CF Miton UK Value Opportunities fund.

‘As a consequence of the pipeline of further recruitment activity we now have in place we are revising, for the first time in fifteen years, our targeted number of teams from 10 to 12 to a new range of 12 to 15,’ the firm, headed by chief executive Tim Woolley, said in a statement. 

‘We have spent a number of years building up our operational support structure within Polar Capital and this now means we have the necessary resource to offer additional teams the highest level of support, whilst maintaining the culture of our group.’

The news comes after a tough first quarter for Polar as its Japan strategy suffered fresh outflows. Overall assets under management (AUM) fell from £8.3 billion (€10.4 billion) at the end of 2015 to £7.3 billion (€9.1 billion) on 31 March.

‘Prior to the introduction of Abenomics in October 2012 our Japan Ucits had outperformed its benchmark by 57% since its launch in 2001,’ Polar highlighted. 

‘However, since Abenomics the process that the team deploys has not been able to deliver comparable returns and indeed has underperformed the market by a considerable margin over this period.'

It added: ‘The team remain committed to their process and believe at some point the approach will once again deliver significant outperformance for those clients who have an investment horizon beyond the current extreme volatility in Japan.’

Polar also drew comfort from net inflows of $240 million (£170 million) into its non-Japanese funds.

'The breadth of product we are seeing both inflows and interest in from clients gives us confidence that once our Japanese business stabilises, we can once again start growing our AUM and profits.’

Despite the recent fall in AUM, the group expects to maintain its dividend at last year’s level.

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