Rosemary Banyard joins Downing; new UK equity fund launched

Former Schroder UK Mid Cap trust and Sanford DeLand fund manager joins Downing Fund Managers.

Star fund manager Rosemary Banyard has joined Downing Fund Managers to manage a new UK equity fund, which has been launched. 

It will be managed in the same fashion as funds previously managed by Banyard over her 25-year career as a fund manager, with a focus on UK small and mid-cap companies that can achieve above-average returns on capital, based on a sustainable competitive advantage.

The portfolio will hold between 25 and 40 positions and will adopt an unconstrained approach, investing in UK companies across the market cap spectrum, including FTSE 100, mid and small cap businesses, as well as those in the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Commenting on the move, Banyard says: “I’m delighted to be joining Downing Fund Managers – I firmly believe that our strategies and processes are an excellent fit and the team will provide a very supportive framework. The opportunity to launch the Downing Unique Opportunities Fund is an exciting one and I believe this fund will appeal to investors. 

“I shall adopt a tried and tested investment strategy, refined over many years, which focuses on businesses that have few if any peers listed in the UK. These businesses are likely to earn above-average returns on equity without employing excessive leverage, by virtue of possessing certain attributes that protect them against competition.”

Judith MacKenzie, partner and head of Downing Fund Managers, adds: “It is a real coup for Downing to attract a manager of such calibre and experience. We are delighted to welcome Rosemary as we develop our new boutique strategy, working alongside highly experienced fund managers with proven track records.”

Banyard ran the Schroder UK Mid Cap trust among various other UK smaller and mid-cap funds with Andy Brough during an 18-year career with the fund manager, managing assets of around £1 billion.

She joined Sanford DeLand in late 2016 as investment director, working with Keith Ashworth-Lord and managing the CFP SDL Free Spirit fund firm from launch in January 2017 to July 2019.


Do you remember the investment industry pre-computer and the privatisation of BT? Rosemary Banyard reflects on investing in the 1980s in the first episode in our Greatest Hits podcast series.

You can listen to more Money Observer podcasts here.

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