Major blow as six-member SRI team at UK fund manager faces redundancy

Leading manager to outsource research to EIRIS

The six-strong socially responsible investing (SRI) team at Henderson Global Investors is facing redundancy as the firm ditches dedicated in-house SRI research in favour of external provider EIRIS and switches its SRI funds to mainstream in-house portfolio managers. Fund managers George Latham and Tim Dieppe, its two SRI fund managers will continue to manage their funds until the end of the year. Henderson’s SRI research team members Seb Beloe, My-Linh Ngo, Bridget Boulle and Hyewon Kong also face redundancy. The SRI team’s four funds will remain open and be transferred to other internal managers, a spokeswoman said.
“Members of the SRI team at Henderson have been provisionally identified as at risk of redundancy as Henderson has decided no longer to have a separate team to manage SRI funds,” the spokeswoman said. She said the team was currently exploring a range of options: “In the meantime, George Latham, head of SRI funds and Tim Dieppe, SRI fund manager will remain in place at Henderson until the end of the year.” Under the SRI fund changes, the three global funds managed by the team, the Global Care Managed, the Global Care Growth and the £90m Industries of the Future fund, will be run by Henderson’s global equity team led by Neil Rogan. The team’s UK fund, Global Care UK Income, will come under the UK value and income team of Job Curtis.The funds will continue to include features such as annual carbon audits. The development follows news reported by Responsible Investor last week that Italian banking giant UniCredit was shuttering its ESG (environmental, social and governance) team, resulting in the redundancy of team leader Patrick Yves Berger as part of a wider job cull. Henderson has been managing SRI funds since 1977. In May 2005, it became a founding signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Its SRI team has been a home at one time to some well known names in responsible investment.
Nick Robins, Head of HSBC’s Climate Change Centre of Excellence was a former Head of SRI funds there. Rob Lake, Director of Strategic Development at the UNPRI was a former Head of Corporate Engagement. Other alumni include Mark Campanale, Advisory Board Member at London Environmental Investment Forum (LEIF), who was a former Head of SRI Business Development, and Jane Goodland, Senior Investment Consultant at Towers Watson, who was a Senior Analyst at Henderson.
Earlier this month Henderson reported that its total assets under management fell by £9bn (€10.4bn) in the third quarter to £65.4bn – hit by unfavourable market conditions and foreign exchange movements.