Legg Mason, the global asset manager with $732.9bn in assets under management, has secured shareholder approval to make a number of changes to the Legg Mason IF Martin Currie Global Equity Income Fund, managed by Mark Whitehead.
Following an EGM on 28th October 2016, Legg Mason is set to alter the fund’s investment objective while widening the instruments available to Whitehead and his investment team.
As of 2nd November, the fund will no longer seek to provide an annual yield in excess of the MSCI World Index. Instead, it will aim to achieve income with the potential for capital growth over the long term by investing in stocks listed globally. However, it is intended that the fund will continue to provide a higher level of income than the broader equity market.
In addition, Whitehead, who joined Martin Currie as Head of Income in November 2015, has been granted the flexibility to use derivatives for investment purposes as well as efficient portfolio management.
There have been no changes to the fund’s investment process and the risk profile is not expected to change.
The move follows the merger of the Martin Currie Investment Funds (‘MCIF’) fund range into the UK onshore OEIC range, Legg Mason Funds ICVC (‘ICVC’), in February 2015. Followed by further integration as with the merger of the Martin Currie Global Funds (‘MCGF’) fund range into the Legg Mason Global Fund plc (’LMGF’), Dublin domiciled UCITs range, in March 2016.
Commenting on the changes to the fund, Jaspal Sagger, Head of International Product at Legg Mason, said:
“We believe that global equity markets offer investors a wealth of income opportunities that can best be captured by a flexible investment approach.
The enhancements that we are making not only increase the Fund’s ability to generate income but are also designed to allow the investment team to fully utilise the experience that Mark Whitehead has brought to Martin Currie’s investment platform.”
 As at 30 September 2016, according to Legg Mason Global Asset Management