Richard Buxton, head of UK equity at Schroders, has resigned after more than 11-years at Britain’s biggest fund manager to assume the same post at rival Old Mutual.

Mr Buxton will join the asset management arm of the Anglo-South African insurer in three months along with his deputy Errol Francis, who is also leaving Schroders. The pair together run £6bn of assets at the fund manager.

Old Mutual Global Investors has been on a hiring drive as it seeks to become one of the UK’s leading asset managers.

Julian Ide, chief executive, on Friday said the latest appointments would enhance the asset manager’s large capital equity offering. “We are excited to have two exceptional managers joining our team,” he said.

Mr Buxton, who has been vocal on a range of issues including the pay and compensation of Xstrata executives as part of the tie-up with Glencore, will replace Ashton Bradbury in running the UK equities teams.

Mr Bradbury will report to Mr Buxton. “This is a significant development for Old Mutual Global Investors, one which I fully support,” said Mr Bradbury. He will concentrate on running Old Mutual’s UK Specialist Equity Fund, a hedge fund.

Mr Buxton graduated from Oxford with a first-class degree in English.

His investment career started in 1985 at Brown Shipley Asset Management as a fixed-income and equity investment manager. He was UK equity manager at Baring Asset Management from 1990 following a year at GRE Asset Management.

Mr Buxton joined Schroders in 2001 to manage specialist UK equity portfolios.

Peter Harrison, global head of equities at Schroders, said: “‘We thank Richard for his service to Schroders over the last 11 years. He leaves behind him a very strong UK equity team with 16 other fund managers and we will be announcing his replacement in due course.”

One person familiar with the situation said: “This has been a very amicable split between Richard and the company. He will stay on for another three months as will Errol and work out his notice.”

Another person familiar with the situation said: “Richard has done a fine job at Schroders and we see him go with some sadness, but he is just one small part of a big operation, a very successful operation.”

Schroders is considering whether it will appoint a successor from within the group or opt for an outside candidate. However, the company stressed it had a wealth of talent among the 230 equity fund managers it employs.

One senior fund manager at a rival group said: “Richard has been very strong on governance issues, most notably over Xstrata, where he was critical of the pay and compensation package and the way the tie-up was handled.”

He was also a strong supporter of Nat Rothschild in the controversy surrounding Bumi, the Indonesian coal miner. Mr Rothschild was defeated last month in an attempt to take control of the board after a row with Indonesia’s influential Bakrie family over governance issues.

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