Jupiter European funds downgraded as star manager set to step down
Investors in Jupiter European (B5STJW8) and Jupiter European Growth funds have received the shock news that star manager Alexander Darwall will be stepping down later in the year.
Darwall has managed the European fund since 2001 and the European Growth fund since 2007 and both have consistently beaten their benchmarks, earning a ‘gold’ rating from analysts at financial data group Morningstar.
Morningstar immediately cut its rating on both funds to ‘neutral’ on the basis that ‘our previous positive view of this strategy was largely predicated on the experience of Darwall, and the consistency
and stability he provided in implementing his proven approach over his lengthy tenure’.
Newly-hired Mark Nichols, who formerly co-managed Threadneedle European Select Fund (B8BC5H2), will take over what Jupiter admits is an ‘important franchise’ and will adopt his own investment approach to picking stocks.
The good news for investors in investment trust Jupiter European Opportunities (JEO) is that Darwall will continue to run the fund, meaning it keeps its ‘gold’ rating from Morningstar.
Over the past decade the European Opportunities fund has returned 656% while the European fund has returned 339% and the Bronze-rated L&G European Index tracker fund has returned 170% according to Morningstar.