Interactive Investor

Star fund manager to retire next year

25th August 2020 10:08

Hannah Smith from interactive investor


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A veteran investor who manages two FTSE 250-listed investment trusts is to retire in 2021.

Schroders’ Asian equities veteran Matthew Dobbs is set to retire in 2021 after 40 years with the firm. 

He will hand over management of his Asian funds to Richard Sennitt, supported by Abbas Barkhordar, and his global and international small-cap funds to Bob Kaynor, Luke Biermann and Alex Deane. 

Sennitt has managed the Schroder Asian Income fund since 2001. He co-manages five other funds, including the Schroder Small Cap Discovery Fund and Schroder Asian Income Maximiser

Robin Parbrook will assume investment oversight for the Asia funds. Chris Taylor will become head of global and international small companies, covering strategic management responsibilities for the team.

Dobbs will remain at Schroders as an adviser to the two investment businesses before his retirement by the end of next year. 

The Schroder Asian Alpha Plus fund has been a stellar performer during his tenure. The £1.2 billion portfolio is first quartile in its sector over three and five years, returning more than 118% to investors over five years and 181% over the last decade, according to FE Analytics.

The £897 million Schroder Asia Pacific investment trust (LSE:SDP) has delivered a share price total return of 127% over the last five years, and 194% over 10 years, according to data from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC). Over five years, the Asia Pacific AIC sector has returned 102%, and 158% over 10 years, to 24 August. 

Dobbs spent his entire career at Schroders after joining in 1981, and became head of global small companies in 2000. As well as running the Schroder Asian Alpha Plus fund, he helped grow two investment trusts - Schroder Asia Pacific and Schroder Oriental Income (LSE:SOI) - into FTSE 250 companies. The group said that Dobbs was also instrumental in building its Asian equities and global small companies’ businesses.

The boards of Schroder Asia Pacific and Schroder Oriental have agreed to the succession plan. Richard Sennitt will take over the management of Schroder Oriental with effect from 31 December 2020 and will take over formal responsibility for Schroder Asia Pacific from 31 March 2021. 

Rory Bateman, Schroders’ head of equities, thanked Dobbs for his commitment and service over the years. 

“It has been an honour to work for Schroders, one of the most renowned global fund managers, for four decades,” said Dobbs.

“I have been privileged to have enjoyed such a fascinating and fulfilling career and have taken great satisfaction in striving to deliver robust performance for my clients during my time as an investor.”

Dobbs joins two other fund management veterans in announcing retirement plans. In recent months, Marlborough’s Giles Hargreave and Federated Hermes’ Gary Greenberg have recently announced succession plans. Hargreave took a step back after 22 years at the helm of Marlborough’s small-cap funds, while global head of emerging markets Greenberg called time on day-to-day portfolio management ahead of his retirement in 2022.

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