Stephen Whittaker has a reputation for his "free thinking and distinctive" investment style, says Citywire.co.uk, and his record in fund management "suggests he isn't afraid to make the odd contrarian bet or two". So when others jumped on the dotcom bandwagon, for example, he avoided it. And when they were wary of a stockmarket that had been falling for two years, "he employed all the skills he had acquired in an impeccable career and positioned his fund for growth", says Alexander T Davies of Hargreaves Landsdown. "He is no less positive today."
He joined the New Star UK Growth Fund in 2002 after a "formidable performance" at Invesco Perpetual and turned £1,000 invested in it in April 2003 into £2,185 today, says Citywire. He seeks long-term growth by investing principally in UK companies. He predicted a correction in the market several months ago, but remains optimistic that the FTSE will end the year as high as 6,350. He tells The Times that, with companies still beating earnings expectations, and with the potential for bid activity, "the markets will steady and go on to achieve double-digit returns by the end of the year".
As a fund manager who is not afraid to turn his back on the accepted view, it's not all that surprising that his role model is the little boy in the fairytale, The Emperor's New Clothes. "It teaches you to believe in what you are seeing and not to worry what the crowd are saying," he tells Interactive Investor.
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New Star UK Growth Fund's top ten holdings
Name of holding % of assets
Royal Bank of Scotland Group 3.9
HSBC Holdings 3.5
Corus Group 2.9
BAE Systems 2.8
Lloyds TSB Group 2.2
Barratt Developments 2.0
Cookson Group 1.9
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