(Pictured: Nick Hamilton)
With the good graces of his former boss, the head of institutional business development for Colonial First State Global Asset Management in Sydney, Nick Hamilton, is heading back to the UK to join a much-anticipated start-up funds manager led by former Invesco Perpetual star portfolio manager Neil Woodford.
The UK firm, to be based in Henley-on-Thames, outside of London, is due to start in April. Hamilton, who came back from the UK to Sydney to join Colonial only last June, is currently on ‘gardening leave’. He could not be reached for comment.
However, Mark Lazberger, the chief executive of CFS GAM, said he understood Hamilton’s decision and wished him well. Lazberger said that Hamilton would not be replaced at Colonial. Existing marketers, Harry Moore and Peter Weldon, will now report directly to the head of institutional sales, Michael Stapleton, who is based in Hong Kong. Stapleton recruited Hamilton last year to fill some of the role formerly undertaken by Joanna Davison, who is now the acting chief executive of super funds association FEAL.
The UK start-up has caused a buzz of excitement in the specialist investment press in London. Neil Woodford was given a rare accolade and statement of gratitude for his service by his current employer, Invesco Perpetual, after he announced last year that he would be starting his own firm. Subsequent to that, several others have left Invesco Perpetual without revealing their new positions. They include William Deer and Mitchell Fraser-Jones, both UK equities specialists. It is not known whether they will join the Woodford firm too.
Details of the new firm are sketchy but it is known that it is being supported by Oakley Capital, providing backoffice and perhaps other services. One UK report said that Woodford would be concentrating on small-cap funds, especially for retail investors.
Hamilton, an Australian, previously had a senior product role at Invesco Perpetual in the UK.