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AXA Investment Managers is to undergo a complete overhaul of its UK fund range, which includes the launch of two funds focusing on blue chips and mid caps respectively.
The first stage of the rationalisation programme has been completed through the renaming of the AXA Cautious Managed, which is managed by Jim Stride, to the AXA Defensive Distribution fund.
The remodelled vehicle, which is to remain in the IMA Cautious Managed sector, will adopt a more defensive asset allocation strategy with greater exposure to index-linked gilts.
The group is also planning five other major changes, which will be implemented by the end of the first quarter of 2009, subject to shareholder approval.
The AXA UK Growth fund, managed by Alex Lloyd, will be merged with Jamie Hooper's AXA Framlington UK Growth fund, which is run out of AXA Framlington.
Hooper will assume control of the merged entity with Lloyd stepping down to focus on his other mandates.
Other changes includes the transfer of Citywire A-rated Richard Marwood's AXA Ethical fund rated to a newly created AXA Ethical Distribution fund. Marwood will continue to run the remodelled version.
Elsewhere Marwood's AXA UK Opportunities fund will be absorbed by a new AXA Framlington Mid Cap Opportunities fund, while the AXA Equity Income fund will be reconfigured into the newly created AXA Framlington Blue chip fund.
AXA IM will announce the managers of the blue chip and mid cap mandates at a later date.
Commenting on the shake-up head of UK retail sales, Rob Bailey (pictured), said: 'We embarked on a systematic review of the AXA IM fund range in the UK and have taken clear and decisive action in restructuring our fund range, fitting the expertise to the brand.'
'We are committed to providing clarity and ease of understanding around our offering and to demonstrating the benefits of our multi-expert model for investors. At a time when transparency and simplicity around financial products is of paramount importance, this has never been more pertinent to our clients.'