Edinburgh's SVM Asset Management has lost its flagship investment trust to London-based Henderson Global Investors.
The board of SVM Global, one of the two funds created by Colin McLean with SVM 22 years ago, said: "The board's decision follows a painstaking process conducted over the last month or so, including analysis of management, administration and marketing capabilities. The board concluded Henderson's offering was persuasive, offering outstanding performance in the areas of investment covered by the company's strategy."
Mr McLean has been under pressure to save the £111 million fund, a sizeable chunk of SVM's £500m under management, after rock-bottom performance in its sector over one, three and five years prompted the resignation of popular manager Donald Robertson, who had co-managed the fund with Mr McLean from its inception. At the same time last September activist investor MAM Funds grabbed a 7.38% stake in the trust, which it quickly took to 15%.
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The move all but wipes out SVM's investment trust business, already weakened by the 2011 loss of SVM UK Active in a takeover by US investment group Cyrun.
Mr McLean said: "Over the 22 years of the trust's existence it has outperformed markets, but the board has made its own decision. We have some pretty good track records in some other funds – UK Growth has beaten the market six years out of seven and the World Equity fund was top last year out of 200 funds in its sector."