Old Mutual share price in focus as Stewart Cowley’s departure announced

on Apr 20, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
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Old Mutual Plc’s (LON:OML) today announced that Stewart Cowley, fixed income director at Old Mutual Global Investors (OMGI), is to leave the company in June, as part of a restructuring drive at the company’s fixed-income unit.

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Old Mutual’s shares had inched 0.30 percent higher to 237.10p as of 12:16 BST today, underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 blue-chip index, which had gained about 0.7 percent. The company’s stock has gained more than 24 percent year-to-date and 18 percent on an annual basis.
Cowley is to hand over the £580 million Old Mutual Global Strategic Bond to John Peta and Christine Johnson with effect from May 1, while control of the £190 million Old Mutual Managed will be given to Lee Freeman-Shor and Anthony Gillham.
The announcement of Cowley’s departure from OMGI comes after Russ Oxley, formerly of Ignis, joined the company earlier this year. Oxley was appointed to the fixed income unit earlier this month.
Cowley’s performance suffered in recent months, as he inaccurately predicted that central bank would increase interest rates in 2014, causing the Old Mutual Strategic Bond fund to lose 2.5 percent in 2014 despite a mostly positive year for fixed income.
“I am immensely proud of what we have achieved at OMAM and Old Mutual Global Investors over the past six years,” Cowley commented.
Meanwhile, the company also announced that it is introducing a team-based approach to its fixed income operations, mirroring the work practices used by Oxley in his previous post. Two teams – one led by Oxley and the other by Christine Johnson, will collaborate, share views and tools. The company is hopeful that new “synergies” will result from the adoption of the new approach.
Old Mutual noted, however, that each team “will manage funds in line with their own investment process”, and that the end result for each will be independent, underscoring the notion that the move is mostly a hedge to protect against flawed work processes that can lead to poor decision making.
As of 14:09 BST, Monday, 20 April, Old Mutual plc share price is 236.60p.

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