Following the news that Jamie Hooper, lead manager on the AXA Framlington Managed Balanced fund, is leaving AXA IM and the industry at the end of the year, we have decided to retain the fund’s A rating.

Jamie Hooper is responsible for the UK equity element of the portfolio and the asset allocation. The remainder of the portfolio is managed by asset class specialists within AXA IM. He will be handing over management responsibility to Jamie Forbes-Wilson and David Shaw. Jamie Forbes-Wilson, manager of the AXA Distribution fund range, will also take over management of the UK equity portfolio. He and Mr Hooper have worked together for many years, as colleagues on the UK equity team. Mr Shaw, whilst not directly responsible for any of the underlying equity sleeves, will bring experience and support information flow on the global equity part of the portfolio, given his experience as a US equity manager. Mr Forbes-Wilson and Mr Shaw will decide on the asset allocation, however historically this has not been managed in a dynamic fashion and we expect this approach to continue. Nick Hayes and Mark Healy will continue to manage the fixed income portfolio.

Given that Jamie Forbes-Wilson is an experienced manager in the group and there is a strong team element to how it is structured, we remain comfortable keeping the A rating. We would like to take this opportunity to wish Mr Hooper well with his future plans away from the industry.