Unicorn founder Peter Webb returns to fund management

Unicorn founder Peter Webb returns to fund management

Peter Webb, the former star smaller companies investor, has made a surprise return to fund management after replacing share tipster Tom Winnifrith on two funds owned by online stockbroker The Share Centre.

The Share Centre has appointed Webb’s firm, Webb Capital, as manager of the T1PS Smaller Companies Growth and T1PS Smaller Companies Gold funds following a shake-up at their previous manager T1PS Investment Management.

Rivington Street Holdings, the Isle of Man-based parent company of T1PS Investment Management, decided to scale back the business after a slump in performance made the division less profitable.

A strategic review, led by chairman Jim Mellon, himself a former fund manager and co-founder of the Regent Pacific investment group, has also seen Rivington close JPJShare.com, its recently launched low-cost share dealing platform.

Winnifrith (pictured), until recently chief executive officer of Rivington, has left the company but will continue to provide consultancy services to its t1ps.com investment website.

As part of the deal around 4,500 JPJShare.com clients will be transferred to The Share Centre. They have six weeks to move at no cost to another broker. If they decide to stay they will continue to pay JPJ’s flat-rate dealing commission of £5.75 until 6 January when The Share Centre’s charges, starting at £7.50 per deal, kick in.

Second chance for Webb

Taking on the small T1PS funds, which will be renamed, gives Webb a chance to restore his reputation as a fund manager after a four-year absence.

Webb, 50, made his name in the 1990s with the top-performing Eaglet investment trust. He went on to found Unicorn Asset Management in 2000 but left the firm in 2008 after it lost control of Eaglet following a period of poor performance.

Investors in the T1PS funds will hope Webb has renewed his enthusiasm for investment. Their recent experience under Winnifrith has been painful, with the £12 million T1PS Smaller Companies Growth fund and the £16 million T1PS Smaller Companies Gold fund both at the bottom of their sectors, with respective losses of 45% and 44% in the year to March.

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Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 EN

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