Premier Miton has hired Merian's Lloyd Harris as head of fixed income and lead manager of the Premier Corporate Bond Monthly Income fund following Jupiter's ongoing acquisition of Merian Global Investors, which is set to complete in the second half of 2020.
Harris, who had worked at Merian since 2012 and ran the firm's £431m Corporate Bond fund, £223m Monthly Income Bond fund and its $374m (£299m) Financials Contingent Capital fund, will be joined by Merian co-manager Simon Prior, who will run Premier's Corporate Bond Monthly Income fund alongside him.
Przemyslaw Pietraszek will also join from Merian as assistant manager. He has been part of Merian's fixed income team since 2018 and has eight years of investment experience.
Prior to joining Merian, Harris worked as an asset-backed trader at Cutwater Asset Management and as a financial credit analyst at Deutsche Bank in its structured capital markets team.
Prior initially joined Merian as an investment grade credit analyst in 2013 and has previously worked at Old Mutual. He began his investment career in 2001.
Current manager of the Premier Corporate Bond Monthly Income and UK Money Market funds Chun Lee, and co-manager of the money market fund Hoy Wan, will become part of the new fixed income team, reporting to Harris.
Premier Miton has confirmed that, following the hires, it will "launch further funds equivalent to the fund range that Harris and has team have been managing successfully over recent years".
Harris said: "I am excited to be joining Premier Miton to manage the Premier Corporate Bond Monthly Income fund and to lead its fixed income team. Joining alongside my previous team co-members, Simon Prior and Przemysław Pietraszek, means that, together with Chun Lee and Hoy Wan, who are already part of Premier Miton's current fixed income team, we will have a very strong team on day one to manage and grow this fund.
"Premier Miton shares our core active management and client-focused values and we have an excellent basis on which to build the company's fixed income business, including launching new funds."
Neil Birrell, chief investment officer at Premier Miton, said the hires are "a key part of our strategy to strengthen and broaden our investment capabilities and to deliver great investment value".
"Developing our group of managers and investment strategies has been an important component of our vision since the merger last year created Premier Miton Investors and we believe that doing so will deliver benefits for clients and support our long term business growth," he added.
Ben Yearsley, co-founder of Fairview Investing, said the appointment of Harris was "a good hire" by Premier Miton and that he is "a big fan of the team".
He added: "It is still slightly strange that Jupiter didn't want them as [the Merian Corporate Bond] fund had performed well and grown nicely over the last few years."
Merian Corporate Bond has achieved top-quartile returns over one, three, five and ten years, comfortably beating both its average peer in the IA Sterling Corporate Bond sector and its ICE BofA Sterling Non Gilts benchmark over both the short and long term, according to data from FE fundinfo.