Although only hired relatively recently, Lomas’ contract to pick stocks for the Alliance Trust portfolio has been terminated. This follows the surprise decision of the firm to wind down its business.
The closure stems from the unexpected decision of two senior portfolio managers to retire.
Dan Lascano, Lomas’ lead portfolio manager, has worked closely with the individuals for many years in a close-knit team and, without them, he decided the best decision was to close the business.
Craig Baker, head of the Alliance Trust’s Investment Committee and Global Chief Investment Officer at Willis Towers Watson, said: “It’s disappointing to have to take the assets away from Lomas so soon. Our due diligence process always includes an assessment of the culture in place and motivations of the key portfolio managers, but of course it’s not always possible to take into account changing personal circumstances of key individuals.”
Baker noted that the multi-manager structure means that the loss of Lomas will not have a significant impact on the portfolio as a whole.
“The portfolio is well diversified even without Lomas, though we will continue reviewing our line-up of Stock Pickers. We are in no rush to appoint anyone new. In the meantime, Lomas’ holdings have all been sold and the capital distributed fairly evenly between the remaining eight Stock Pickers.”