Downing Fund Managers has teamed up with JM Finn to launch a new thematic global equity fund – its second new offering in the space of a fortnight.
The VT Downing Global Investors fund will be managed by JM Finn investment manager Anthony Eaton, who will join Downing as investment consultant. Eaton will work with partner and head of Downing Judith Mackenzie and her team on the mandate.
The thematic offering will be run with "reduced concentration risk", Downing said, and aims to achieve capital and income growth over the long term by investing primarily in equities across global markets.
Eaton had previously run the CF JM Finn Global Opportunities fund from 2005 until it was sold to Thornbridge in August 2019. Under Eaton's management, the fund returned 10.4% compound annualised growth.
It is Downing's second fund launch in quick succession, after it added Rosemary Banyard to its team to lead the VT Downing Unique Opportunities fund.
Mackenzie said the appointment of Eaton marked "another significant step in the managed growth" of Downing and "allows us to expand our boutique funds strategy".
"Our boutique strategy aims to provide a partnership to grow mandates that often get overlooked by larger houses, allowing investors access to established managers with proven track records," Mackenzie added.
"This should provide the freedom for these managers to articulate and practise successful strategies without the constraints of a larger institution and share the economic equity of success.
"We will provide a platform for Anthony to market a great mandate and we believe that the fund will have wide appeal. As an asset class, global equities provide unlimited opportunities to identify investment prospects at attractive valuations that have the potential to grow investors' capital over the long term."
On the fund, Eaton said: "We believe that events drive trends and that the dominant driver of events is going to be the expanding global middle class population.
"The needle movers within that will be the six billion population outside the West, and the Asian middle classes in particular. The strategy is to own businesses, wherever they are based, that cater to those needs and wants of this compounding homogenous marketplace."
The fund's investment objective will be to seek capital and income growth from investments identified across global equity and/or bond markets from a diversified portfolio of around 150 positions which keeps individual stock specific risk low.
JM Finn's CFO Dominic May said the firm was "delighted to enter into this arrangement to assist Downing as they develop their fund offering".