Thornton Makes Mark on Gartmore Equities Team

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Byline: Alistair Graham

The UK equity team at Gartmore, the fund arm of US insurer Nationwide Mutual, has seen a turnaround in its performance following an overhaul by Jon Thornton, who was hired last year as head of the UK equity desk and given the task of reversing its decline.Thornton said: "When I joined, the perception of us in the market was poor. The performance of our institutional mainstream funds had been disappointing and there was quite a bit of work to do."

Thornton, previously UK equity head at Aberdeen Asset Management, immediately merged the UK institutional and retail teams and embarked on a hiring spree. Arrivals included Sacha Sadan from the Universities' Superannuation Scheme, Chris Burvill from Investec Asset Management and Rob Giles from Singer & Friedlander.

Gartmore's UK team works in small groups under four product platforms that cover the spectrum of risk. Stock selection ideas are generated by a separate team of analysts, which allows managers to focus on running their portfolios.

Managers are incentivised further by looking after long/short funds alongside their mainstream funds. …