Jupiter Asset Management has closed its Jupiter Europe (ex UK) Smaller Companies fund due to depleted assets under management.

In a letter to shareholders seen by Investment Week, the fund group informed clients on 12 May that the fund's AUM had "fallen below the level at which the fund could be managed cost effectively and remain economically viable".

According to the latest factsheet, the fund's AUM sat at $5.2m.

Jupiter said the fund was "unlikely" to attract new investors in the future and as a result, "closing the fund is in the best interests of the shareholders".

The fund is set to close on 14 June, when all shareholders' stakes will be redeemed, but clients have until then to convert their investment into another fund option free of charge.

Jupiter changes benchmarks on two funds

Jupiter Europe (ex UK) Smaller Companies fund was co-managed by Mark Heslop, Mark Nichols and Phil Macartney, who all work on several European equity-focused strategies.

Heslop and Macartney both work on the Jupiter European Smaller Companies fund, which had its benchmark altered as part of the ongoing changes in CEO Matthew Beesley's product review process.

Jupiter informed shareholders in the Jupiter European Smaller Companies fund that the benchmark would change as the current one was being disbanded.

The fund currently aims to provide a return, net of fees, higher than that provided by the EMIX Smaller European Companies Ex UK index over a rolling five-year period, but according to Jupiter, the EMIX benchmark is being discontinued on 31 July.

Jupiter shutters Asia Pacific Income

In the letter, Jupiter said the fund's benchmark will change to the MSCI Europe ex UK Small Cap index as a result "due to the similarity of the indices as they both focus on European smaller companies and there are no material differences in their constituents".

Jupiter reassured clients that this would not result in any changes to the existing investment process Heslop and Macartney run.

New bond management team 

The group is also changing the management team on the Merian Global Dynamic Bond fund to an alternative Jupiter team.

The $267.1m fund is currently managed by Mark Nash, Huw Davies and James Novotny, and management will be transferred to Jupiter's Global Unconstrained Fixed Income team Ariel Bezalel and Harry Richards as of 7 June.

Jupiter said its clients sought "truly active, long-term, high-conviction portfolios" managed by "experienced and talented investment teams", and the incoming "experienced team is well positioned to deliver on the fund's investment outcome for its investors".

According to Jupiter, all three of the exiting managers would be focusing on management of the firm's other absolute return fixed income strategies.