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Horlick goes spinning for Soc Gen

Fund manager Nicola Horlick proved in her high profile fight with Deutsche Bank that she is adept at employing the media to her advantage. And once journalists have your number in their contacts book they keep ringing back.

Recently BBC radio's Today programme, one of the forums UK politicians most like to be heard on, invited Horlick to give her comments on a Financial Services Authority report that UK mutual fund charges are much higher than US ones. In an era of spin winning out to substance, Horlick presumably reckoned, and probably correctly, that she could get away with arguing that this was because UK funds invest more overseas so adding to research costs.

This claim is hard to take seriously from the manager of SG Asset Management's UK income fund, which has 76% of its portfolio in the FTSE 100 companies, has no overseas holdings, and yet still demands a 5.25% initial charge and a 1.5% annual management fee - high even by UK standards.

Horlick picked out the firm's technology fund as one that needed worldwide research. This has the same initial charge and an even higher annual fee of 1.75%.

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