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Steve Russell steps off Ruffer trust as group promotes younger fund managers

7 October 2019

Veteran co-manager of Ruffer Investment Company steps back from the defensive, global multi-asset fund as Ruffer reshuffles its investment team and promotes a new generation of fund managers.

Steve Russell, a long-standing co-manager of Ruffer Investment Company (RICA), is stepping back from the defensive, global multi-asset fund as Ruffer reshuffles its investment team and promotes younger fund managers.

The £400 million investment trust, which famously made money for shareholders in the financial crisis but upset investors with a 10% drop last year, will continue to be run by Hamish Baillie and Duncan MacInnes.

Russell will continue to run the £3.3 billion open-ended Ruffer Total Return fund but without David Ballance who is focusing on the £4.8 billion Ruffer Absolute Return fund they both run.

Investment directors Matt Smith and Alexander Chartres have been promoted to fund managers to help Russell run the Total Return fund.

And investment director Jos North has been promoted to work with the Russell and Ballance on Absolute Return.

Like Ruffer Investment Company, both open-ended funds have found the going tough of late, with the Ruffer Total Return returning 3.8% over the three years to the end of August and the Ruffer Absolute Return fund up 4%. This compares to a peer group average of 8.8%. 

Investment director Jenny Renton has been given a broader fund management role, joining Chris Querée on the firm's Charity Assets Trust. All changes will take effect from 1 November. 

Smith and Chartres have both been with Ruffer for just under a decade.

Smith has primarily managed portfolios for pensions schemes and institutions, while Chartres has specialised in geopolitics and its implications for markets.  

Renton joined Ruffer in 2013 and is also co-manager of the firm's Common Investment fund. 

Ruffer chair Jonathan Ruffer said: 'Ruffer has just celebrated its 25th birthday, and not only the company, but its occupants grow in stature as the years go by. This announcement pays testimony to a new generation of investors at Ruffer.' 

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