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Walker funds survive under new roof

The two principals of Walker Funds have left to work for other managers.

Tuesday, February 19th 2008, 5:05AM

by David Chaplin

Walker Capital funds will not be wound up, according to the boutique's founder, Stephen Walker, despite his recent appointment as head of asset management for Goldman Sachs JB Were NZ.

Walker told Good Returns the boutique's funds will "come across" to Goldman Sachs JBWere but will operate under the original banner for the time-being.

He said Goldman Sachs JBWere is investigating the best way to transition the Walker funds to the new environment.

Walker runs two funds - the retail Research Selection Fund and the Wholesale Australasian Equities Fund. As well the firm offers separate accounts for institutions and high net worth clients.

According to the latest FundSource data, Walker Capital managed $1.3 million in the retail Research Selection Fund after suffering outflows of $1.43 million in the last quarter of 2007. In its annual financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2007, total unit-holder funds in the Research Selection Fund were valued at $4.1 million.

"The important thing for retail clients to know is that their funds are safe and will continue to be managed as before," Walker said.

It is understood a number of key wholesale clients, including Tower and the ING Private Portfolio Service, recently dumped Walker Capital, substantially reducing the firm's revenue. In the 12 months to March 31 last year, Walker Capital recorded total revenue of just over $1 million with only $35,000 derived from its retail offering.

Walker would not confirm the manager's current level of institutional funds under management but he said some wholesale clients remain on the books.

In January, Walker portfolio manager and minority shareholder, Craig Brown, left the firm to take on a position as senior analyst with ING New Zealand.

Both Brown and Walker previously worked at AMP Henderson before the boutique launched in 2001.

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