Milway in, Wintle out in Neptune manager reshuffle

Added 26th May 2016

Neptune Investment Management has hired Robin Milway as investment director and head of stock strategy, while Felix Wintle, ex-manager of the Neptune US Opportunities Fund, has exited the firm.

Milway in, Wintle out in Neptune manager reshuffle

Milway will join the Neptune investment team in August 2016 and will report to chief executive Robin Geffen. He will run a new European equity fund, which will launch later this year subject to FCA approval, and focus on bottom-up analysis.

The new fund will complement the high-conviction European Opportunities Fund currently run by Rob Burnett, said the firm.

“Robin Milway is an individual who has built a strong track record, both on the New Capital Dynamic European fund, for which he gained a AAA-rating from Citywire, and on the internal portfolios he has run across the world for EFG Private Bank,” said Robin Geffen, founder and CEO of Neptune.

“Today’s appointment reaffirms Neptune’s commitment to independent research, based on rigorous analysis of global sectors, macroeconomics and individual companies as we seek outperformance in the years ahead,” he continued.

Meanwhile, Neptune is also restructuring its US fund range and Felix Wintle, who has managed the Neptune US Opportunities Fund since August 2005. The fund is performed in the fourth quartile during the past one, three and five years.

Wintle has been replaced by James Hackman, who will become lead manager of the Neptune US Opportunities Fund and head of US equities. Patrick Close will co-manage the fund while Ali Unwin, manager of the Neptune Global Technology Fund, will be the deputy fund manager; all with immediate effect.

The fund will from now on be managed in accordance with the so called CompoundEdge investment process, developed over the past three years by Hackman and Close.

The CompoundEdge strategy uses the proprietary Quality Composite Score (QCS) screening tool developed by Hackman and Close to identify a universe of companies that have the characteristics of ‘quality compounders’. 

”Existing clients of the fund will see a continuing focus on quality stocks but with a greater emphasis on valuation and the sustainability of profit growth,” said Hackman.

“Our focus is on seeking to deliver consistently attractive risk-adjusted returns to clients. While outperformance is of course central to the objective, we are looking to achieve this with less volatility than is typical," added Close. 

Geffen commented: "The goal of outperforming the S&P 500 is a challenging one and requires consistent and accurate application of process to achieve it."

Geffen explained that Hackman and Close have put in hundreds of hours to arrive at what he believes to be a robust approach. "I believe it will enable them to capture the long-term outperformance generated by high-quality companies in the United States at the right price," he added, and said that Hackman's background as an accountant and Close's as an engineer complement each other perfectly. 

Neptune is also planning to launch a US Mid Cap fund, "hopefully this summer".

“In our opinion, the current outlook for US mid-caps is positive, with valuations slightly below the long-term average. In 2014 valuations became extremely stretched, but a recent soft patch in performance has presented us with an attractive entry point to launch a US mid-cap fund," said Close.

All three funds - the new European fund, the Neptune US Opportunities Fund and the US Mid Cap fund will use the CompoundEdge strategy, said Neptune. 

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