Brunner Investment Trust is on the hunt for a new lead portfolio manager, following Matthew Tillett’s departure from Allianz Global Investors.
In an RNS statement on Tuesday, the board announced Christian Schneider, deputy CIO of AllianzGI’s global growth franchise, would take over as interim lead portfolio manager for a minimum period of six months, while it searches for a permanent lead.
Tillett (pictured) had “worked in tandem” with Schneider on the £476.5m trust, as well as Marcus Morris-Eyton, a fellow investment manager at AllianzGI, who will continue to assist on the mandate along with Simon Gergel, AllianzGI’s CIO of UK equities.
This is Brunner Investment Trust’s second manager reshuffle in the past two years. Tillett replaced longstanding lead Lucy Macdonald in May 2020 after her surprise departure from AllianzGI after nearly 20 years at the asset manager. Embarrassingly, AllianzGI promoted the launch of a podcast featuring Macdonald three days before the stock announcement announcing she would step down.
The board said it would continue to review the structure of the team with AllianzGI, adding the trust would continue to be run as “an all-weather portfolio” with a balanced approach to portfolio construction and strong focus on valuation.
AllianzGI lines up replacement on Tillett’s £279m UK equity fund
It is unclear what prompted Tillett’s departure or where he is headed next. He had been with AllianzGI for 16 years, joining its global graduate programme in 2006 before becoming a portfolio manager in its UK equity team two years later.
In addition to running the Brunner Investment Trust, he has managed the open-ended Allianz UK Listed Opportunities fund since 2011. AllianzGI confirmed deputy manager Richard Knight would take the lead on the £278.8m fund from 1 September.
Both of Tillett’s vehicles have significantly outperformed peers in their respective sectors. The Allianz UK Listed Opportunities fund has returned 37.8% in three years, over five times higher than the IA UK All Companies 7.2% average. Brunner Investment Trust is up 27.5% over the same timeframe, while the average IT Global peer is up 6.7%.
Brunner Investment Trust’s chairman Carolan Dobson commented: “We wish Matthew all the best in his future endeavours and thank him for his steadfast and valuable contribution to Brunner over his many years of working with the company.
“Brunner continues to withstand turbulent market conditions due to our continued commitment to deliver long-term growth in capital and income through an investment strategy of high conviction and investment in quality, global growth companies.
“Performance is good in these conditions and Brunner’s total return NAV outperformed the total return benchmark by 0.8% in the first half of the current financial year.”