New Star Asset Management Ltd., London, is one of the first U.K. money managers to give its young portfolio managers full-blown star treatment.
Pictures of three of "New Star's New Stars" are blanketing London subway tunnels, billboards throughout the capital and regional cities, and newspapers and magazines as part of an advertising campaign.
The "New Stars" are James Ridgewell, manager of the New Star U.K. Special Situations Fund; Guy de Blonay, manager of the New Star Global Financials Fund; and Jamie Allsopp, manager of the New Star Hidden Value Fund.
The campaign trades on their good looks and the performance of their funds. The Hidden Value Fund returned 26.4% in the year ended Dec. 30; the U.K. Special Situations Fund returned 29.9% for the same period; and the Global Financials Fund returned 46.4%.
The promotion "attracted smaller but still significant sums into the Global Financials, Hidden Value and UK Special Situations funds. The performance of these funds has demonstrated to financial advisers and investors that we can successfully develop internal younger talent to complement the more experienced managers of our flagship funds," said John Duffield, New Star's chairman, in the company's year-end earnings statement issued at the end of March.
New Star's retail assets increased 31% in 2005 to %£7.2 billion (U.S $12.4 billion) as of Dec. 31 while institutional assets increased 79% to £7.7 billion. Total assets managed by New Star as of the end of the year were £16.8 billion.