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Standard Life Investments equity boss Cumming exits

Standard Life Investments equity boss Cumming exits

Standard Life Investments (SLI) head of equities David Cumming has relinquished his role. 

According to a statement from SLI, Cumming (pictured), who joined the firm in 1998 from Morgan Grenfell, is leaving to 'pursue other interests'. 

The news comes a few days after SLI parent Standard Life sealed a surprise £11 billion merger with Aberdeen.

Stan Pearson, head of European equities, has assumed the role of acting head of equities, while Andrew Millington, director of equity research, becomes acting head of UK equities.

Pearson has 32 years’ experience in the industry and has been with Standard Life Investments for 10 years.

Meanwhile, Millington has 13 years’ experience, nine of them at SLI. Both will continue to manage their respective retail and institutional funds.

SLI chief investment officer Rod Paris said: 'I wish Stan and Andrew every success in their interim positions - making these internal appointments demonstrates the depth of talent we have within the 73-strong equities team.

'I would also like to thank David for his support and contribution to the business over the many years we have worked together, and wish him the very best.'  

Citywire A-rated Cumming built an outstanding track record at the helm of the firm's £67 million UK Recovery fund since taking control of the vehicle in March 2009.

Under his watch the fund has returned 364.2% up to the end of February, smashing the 171.8% return on the FTSE All Share.

In the last 12 months alone the fund has returned 74%, almost double the 39.7% return the second best performing fund in the peer group has delivered.

These stellar returns have come at a cost, with the monthly maximum drawdown of the portfolio since he took the reins standing at -33.8% compared to -21.7% for the FTSE All Share.

Citywire verdict: Frank Talbot head of investment research 

Well this is a surprise, and a blow to the combined groups’ ambitions in UK equities. While his style has come with health warnings, he has been SLI’s best UK All Companies fund manager since taking on management of the fund in 2009.

While his volatile performance never drew in a massive crowd, his results are hard to ignore.

SLI was once the go to house in UK equities, with a large team of quality individuals in every sector. This is bad news, but you wouldn’t bet on the company turning out another quality name or one of the old guard returning to their halcyon days.

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