The inclusion of the Merian North American Equity fund on the Super 60 list has been placed under formal review by interactive investor as a result of Merian's impending acquisition by Jupiter.
No reason to withdraw recommendation was found at interactive investor's (ii) January 2020 annual review, but the recent changes marks a 'red flag' event, instigating a formal review.
Alongside the acquisition, co-fund manager and co-head of systems Mike Servant has announced his retirement from the business in June 2020, itself a "red flag" event, ii said.
Ian Heslop will retain overall responsibility for the desk and the global equities funds will be managed using a team-based approach, while Sean Storey, who joined the firm in 2017, will be promoted to head of systems following Servant's departure.
According to interactive investor, the formal review is not a reflection of recent performance, nor a recommendation to sell the fund.
This review is the second of its kind in recent months, the first being conducted into Lindsell Train UK Equity on 29 November 2019, which has been downgraded by two independent external agencies. It was concluded on 20 January 2020 and the fund was retained on the Super 60 fund list.
Dzmitry Lipski, head of funds research at interactive investor, said: "In line with our stated methodology, the investment selection committee decided to put Merian North American Equity under formal review on 25 February 2020.
"This follows the announcement that Merian has been acquired by Jupiter and a co-manager of the fund will be leaving the business.
"We will be seeking a better understanding of what changes, if any, are likely to take place as it goes under Jupiter's corporate umbrella and how that could impact the fund's team structure, philosophy and process.
"In addition, we need to be sure that there will be a smooth succession for the leaving co-fund manager that should not negatively impact the way this fund operates."