David Morgan to take over at M&G: Unit trust group achieves 28 per cent rise in funds under management in six months

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The Independent Online
DAVID MORGAN, the chief investment manager at M&G Group, will become managing director next year when Paddy Linaker retires after more than seven years at the top of Britain's leading unit trust manager.

M&G has promoted Mr Morgan, who has spent 22 years with the company, to deputy managing director. He will remain as managing director of M&G Investment Management.

In other internal management changes announced yesterday, Tony Shearer steps up from financial director to become chief operating officer, and Alan Oddie, head of M&G's life and pensions arm, becomes group business development director. Peter Emms, the former Allied Dunbar man who replaced Tim Miller when he was sacked last year, joins the board as marketing director.

Mr Linaker will retire at 60 after nearly 31 years at M&G. 'That's long enough,' he said. He said he wanted to devote more time to other interests - in particular, to the charity Childline, to a college attached to Christchurch College, Canterbury, and to a school with which he is involved.

M&G has just achieved a 28 per cent rise to pounds 11bn in its funds under management in six months, thanks to the outperformance of its Dividend and Recovery unit trusts. Philip Gibbs, an analyst at Barclays de Zoete Wedd said: 'It's one of the most impressive fund management results I've seen in a long time - very, very good indeed.'

The rise in funds pushed M&G's interim pre-tax profits 14 per cent higher to pounds 22.8m. It is paying an interim dividend of 10p, up from 9p, and is promising a final of at least 11p.

The group's advance was achieved despite disappointing sales which, net of redemptions, amounted to only pounds 4m. Marketing and commission costs dropped from pounds 14.1m to pounds 6.4m, falling back after the previous year's launch of the Income and Recovery investment trusts.

Sir David Money-Coutts, M&G's chairman, expressed concern that the Office of Fair Trading's proposals on commission disclosure may lead to a reduction in the availability of independent financial advice. He urged the Treasury to ensure comparable disclosure is required of tied agents and direct sales forces.