Mercantile Investment Trust manager to exit JPMAM after 37 years

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Martin Hudson to leave JPMAM
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Martin Hudson to leave JPMAM

Martin Hudson is set to leave his role as portfolio manager within the J.P. Morgan Asset Management international behavioural finance team and step down from the management of The Mercantile Investment Trust after 37 years with the business.

Hudson (pictured), who has been with the firm since 1982, is expected to leave the group in Q4 and is stepping down from his portfolio management responsibilities on the trust today (5 August).

The £1.6bn vehicle, which focuses on investing in small- and mid-cap UK companies, will continue to be managed by Guy Anderson, who has been lead manager on the fund since early 2016, and Anthony Lynch, who has worked on the team since 2009.

Commenting on Hudson's departure, trust chairman Angus Gordon Lennox said: "Martin has worked as part of the company's investment management team for over 25 years and we are hugely grateful for everything that he has contributed; not only is he a highly skilled investor, but he has also been an exceptional ambassador for The Mercantile. We wish him well in the future.

"Prior to his most recent role, Hudson was investment manager in the UK portfolio group, running both the UK equity portfolio of the Fleming Fledgling Investment Trust (now the JPMorgan US Smaller Companies Investment Trust) and segregated pension portfolios.

Before this he was manager of the UK investment research department and previously was a building and property analyst. Prior to joining JPMAM, Hudson worked on manufacturing and acquisitions for Blue Circle Industries.

The Mercantile Investment Trust has returned 33.5% over three years to 2 August, according to FE, while its NAV is up 39.1% against the UK All Companies sector average of 25.4%. It is currently trading on a discount of 12%.Ewan Lovett-Turner, director at Numis Securities, commented on the changes: "We do not expect this to have a significant impact on the management of the Mercantile, given that Guy Anderson took over as lead manager in early 2016.

"Prior to this, Martin Hudson had been lead manager since 1994, meaning he has been involved in management of the fund for 25 years. Guy joined the team in August 2012 and continues to be supported by Anthony Lynch.

"He added that the trust represents "an attractive core holding" for investors looking for UK mid- and small-cap exposure, having seen a strong recovery after a difficult period following the Brexit vote in 2016.