Russ Oxley leaves OMGI after disagreement over strategic direction

Added 14th June 2016

Russ Oxley has left Old Mutual Global Investors with immediate effect, following a difference of opinion over the future strategic direction of the firm’s absolute return government bond team, Old Mutual said on Tuesday.

Russ Oxley leaves OMGI after disagreement over strategic direction

Oxley and his team (Huw Davies, Joshua Heming, Adam Purzitsky, Paul Shanta and Jin Wong) joined OMGI in April 2015 from Ignis following its acquisition by Standard Life Investments.

They left to launch of a suite of absolute return government bond products for Old Mutual.

Purzitsky and Shanta have been appointed co-heads of the absolute return government bond team as a result of Oxley’s departure and will report to investment director, Paul Simpson.

According to a spokesperson for the firm, an example of the types of disagreements that led to the departure was a decision to focus the new range of funds on absolute return, rather than on both absolute return and liability driven investments, as had been the initial idea.

In making the announcement, however, OMGI was quick to highlight the pair’s long running involvement in the build out of the funds. “Adam and Paul were among the first members of the team to join Old Mutual Global Investors, and were instrumental in the pre-launch preparation, as well as actively managing the strategy since launch in October 2015. The managers will continue to employ exactly the same investment process and philosophy that they have been at the heart of developing over many years,” Old Mutual said.

They will also, the firm confirmed, continue to co-manage the Old Mutual Absolute Return Government Bond strategy, with the support of the broader team.

Shanta said the team decided to join OMGI because it was excited by the scope the firm offered it.

“The ‘CIO-free zone’ philosophy and collaborative, collegiate environment was very attractive to us. It is a highly distinctive part of the firm’s culture, and demonstrates an approach that is now the exception rather than the rule among major asset management firms.”

The firm has no plans to replace Oxley but has appointed Mark Greenwood and Peter Meiklejohn to the wider ARGB team.

“Both Mark and Peter have already made valuable contributions to the ARGB team during the time they have been working alongside the team as consultants. These appointments bring the total number of portfolio management professionals working on the ARGB strategy to six, supported by two additional specialist investment professionals,” the firm said.

Simpson added: “We are fully committed to the ARGB team and fund, as demonstrated by the appointments of Mark and Peter. Both of these highly experienced investment professionals have worked closely with Adam, Paul and the team during the last year, making valuable contributions to the strategy.  We are pleased that they are now permanent members of our business.”

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Geoff Candy

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Geoff Candy joined Portfolio Adviser as News Editor in May 2014. He has been a financial journalist and broadcaster since 2005 and, in that time has worked in both South Africa and the Netherlands, covering everything from high street retailers and construction companies to mining and insurance.

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