Veteran exits as Perpetual revamps equities investment team

Australia's biggest independent wealth manager, Perpetual, has shaken up its senior equities investment team, with the veteran Charlie Lanchester to depart.

Australia's biggest independent wealth manager, Perpetual, has shaken up its senior equities investment team, with the veteran Charlie Lanchester to depart.

Mr Lanchester, deputy head of equities and one of the portfolio managers of the Perpetual Industrial Share Fund, will leave the funds management industry at the end of month. The head of equities, Matt Williams, said Mr Lanchester had been a "loyal friend and trusted colleague" over the past 14 years.

Their shared work had ensured the team was in great shape, and "we are well advanced with a smooth handover".

Mr Lanchester will be replaced by Paul Skamvougeras, who is a portfolio manager. Mr Skamvougeras has also spent seven years at James Packer's CPH/Ellerston Capital.

Analyst Nathan Parkin, meanwhile, has been appointed joint portfolio manager of the Industrial Share Fund with Vince Pezzullo.

The changes follow Perpetual's reporting of $1.8 billion in net outflows for its flagship funds management arm in 2013, an improvement on the previous year's $4.1 billion in net outflows.

Perpetual last week reported full-year results showing a jump in profit and an increased dividend, on the back of surging sharemarkets and cost-cutting. It said market net flows were unlikely to improve in the short term, but tipped growth in the medium to long term as Australia's compulsory superannuation contributions expand.

Perpetual Investments had $25.3 billion funds under management for the 2013 financial year, a 12 per cent annual rise.

The result was underpinned by a rebound in equity markets. The All Ords rose by 15 per cent in the 2013 financial year, and a 1 per cent movement in the market changes Perpetual's annualised revenue by up to $2.25 million. But it's been a challenging few years for Perpetual, a one-time market darling that operates in fund management, financial advice and trustee service, and is now facing competition for the takeover target Trust Co from another wealth giant, IOOF.

The big end of town withdrew money after the departure of fund manager John Sevior, and the board was called "accident prone" when it dumped Chris Ryan after less than a year in the top job.

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