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Schroders' Forest tasked with reviving giant Gars fund

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Schroders' Forest tasked with reviving giant Gars fund

Guy Stern, who heads up the running of Aberdeen Standard Investments' giant Global Absolute Return Strategies fund, has announced his retirement.

The fund group has swooped up on Schroders' Aymeric Forest (pictured) to replace Stern as global head of multi-asset investing.

Chief among Forest's tasks as he takes over from Stern in February next year will be reviving performance of the £15.2 billion Gars fund, which has endured a torrid three years.

The fund, which aims to provide positive returns in all market conditions, has lost 8% over the last three years, sparking waves of investors to pull their money.

Once the UK's biggest fund with assets peaking at £27 billion in May 2016, Gars lost that crown to the £23 billion M&G Optimal Income fund at the end of last year, with the £16.2 billion Fundsmith Equity fund overtaking it in August.

Forest was head of multi-asset investment, Europe at Schroders before leaving the group in September. He ran the group's Global Multi-Asset Income, Multi-Asset Growth and Income and Alternative Risk Premia funds.

In taking over Stern's role, Forest will be overseeing a multi-asset division that manages a combined £140 billion.

Rod Paris, chief investment officer at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: 'Aymeric has extensive experience in multi-asset investing, including absolute return portfolios and has a strong technical knowledge covering traditional and non-traditional asset classes and use of derivatives.

'He has run a number of successful multi-asset investing teams and we are confident that this expertise combined with a similar investment philosophy means that he is the right successor to Guy in leading our multi-asset investing team.'  

Citywire also understands Aberdeen Standard Investments has added Katy Forbes, Scott Smith and David Sol as named portfolio managers on the Gars fund, while Neil Richardson, who oversees absolute return equity strategies, will focus exclusively on Gars.

Stern said in a statement: 'I have had an extremely rewarding time working for Standard Life Investments and more latterly Aberdeen Standard Investments but having worked in the industry for more than 35 years, I have decided to retire.' 

'The experience and expertise of the team that I am proud to be a part of means I am confident that they will continue to help clients achieve their long-term financial goals.' 

Stern was appointed to the role of head of multi asset and macro investing following the to Aviva Investors in 2013. 

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