7 January 2020 – Franklin Templeton announced today that Paul Spencer, manager of Franklin UK Mid Cap fund, is to retire on 30 September 2020.
In a statement, the company said that Paul will step down from all portfolio management responsibilities on 30 June 2020, though he will remain engaged with the UK Mid Cap strategy for the remainder of his tenure at Franklin Templeton. Richard Bullas, who is a co-manager on the fund, will assume lead portfolio manager responsibilities for the Franklin UK Mid Cap fund as of that date.
Commenting on the news, Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services, said: “It’s obviously a shame for Franklin Templeton and Paul’s investors that they are losing such an experienced and successful manager.
“Paul has proven himself to be an excellent stock-picker over a number of years: the Franklin UK Mid Cap fund has returned 438.58% over his tenure, compared with 257.86% for the FTSE 250 ex IT index and 133.99% for the average UK equity fund*.
“He also leaves on a high having been the number one fund in the UK All Companies sector in 2019**. We wish him well.
“Richard Bullas, who has been co-manager of the fund since 2013, and who has also successfully run the Franklin UK Smaller Companies fund with Paul since 2012, will take on the lead manager role, and is a safe pair of hands in our view. The Franklin UK Mid Cap fund will, however, be removed from the Chelsea Selection.”
*Source: FE Analytics, total returns in sterling, 1 February 2006 to 7 January 2020.
**Source: FE Analytics, IA UK All Companies sector, total returns in sterling, calendar year 2019.