Vontobel bolsters manager line-up for two leading equity funds

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Vontobel Asset Management has carried out its plans to add new co-managers to its Far East and European equity funds with two research analysts being handed their first portfolio manager roles.

It emerged earlier this month that the Swiss firm was seeking to add to the fund manager talent in its New York-based value-orientated investment team, which is under the stewardship of Euro Stars A-rated manager Rajiv Jain (pictured).

The firm has now handed research analysts Brian Bandsma and Daniel Kranson co-manager roles on two of its equity funds from March 1 2013.

This will see Bandsma, who has been with Vontobel since 2002, named as a co-manager on the Vontobel Fund Far East Equity strategy alongside Jain - who has been sole lead on the fund since its launch in January 2001.

Bandsma has primarily covered IT, financials, telecoms and consumer discretionary stocks in his research role and is one of the longest serving researchers in the Vontobel US team.

Meanwhile, Kranson will work with Euro Stars AA-rated manager Matthew Benkendorf on the Vontobel Fund European Value Equity fund.

Kranson has been with Vontobel for five years and specialised in research on consumer staples, energy, healthcare and materials. He has a total of 13 years of industry experience.

These two appointments cap a busy period for Jain, who saw his $4.8 billion emerging market fund reach an ‘operational close’ and also bagged the prize of the most improved fund manager performance over the past five years.

The Vontobel Fund European Value Equity fund has returned 51.38% in the three years to the end of January 2013. This is while its Citywire benchmark, the FTSE World Europe TR, rose 28.41%.

The Vontobel Fund Far East Equity has returned 50.79% over the same three year period compared to a 34.63% rise in its Citywire benchmark, the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan TR USD.