Bond veteran Jim Leaviss to leave M&G

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Jim Leaviss, one of the City of London’s best-known bond investors, is leaving M&G Investments after almost three decades at the asset manager to move into academia.

Leaviss, who oversees £139bn as chief investment officer of fixed income at M&G, will depart the group in the coming months. M&G has poached Andrew Chorlton from Schroders to succeed Leaviss.

The departure of Leaviss comes after other top fixed income managers have left the industry, including John Pattullo from Janus Henderson earlier this year and Fidelity’s Ian Spreadbury, whose career in bonds spanned more than four decades.

Joseph Pinto, chief executive officer of M&G Investments, said Leaviss’s “influence in the world of bonds has been significant”. M&G credited Leaviss with spearheading the company’s growth in fixed income, including developing its credit research team.

Leaviss was leaving to start a Masters in the History of Art in October, M&G said.

Chorlton will leave his role as head of fixed income and his position on Schroders’ group management committee. Schroders said it would not replace Chorlton.

Leaviss joined M&G Investments in 1997 from the Bank of England where he had been a gilt market analyst and dealer.

He founded M&G’s “Bond Vigilantes” blog in 2006 — where the team started writing about strains in the US mortgage market ahead of the global financial crisis and more recently was praised for its analysis of the gilts crisis triggered by former prime minister Liz Truss’s “mini” Budget in September 2022 and the subsequent fallout across the pensions industry.

Reflecting on his time at M&G, he said in the blog: “Back in 1997 there were just four of us, in a corner of a small office in Minster Court in the City of London [a gothic building that stood in for Cruella de Vil’s house in the 101 Dalmatians film]. 

“Today we have over £130bn of bonds under management, a team of over 40 credit analysts, and bond investment teams not just in London, but in Chicago, Singapore and Paris.”

Leaviss, who claimed there was “nothing more fascinating than a fixed income instrument”, also hosted 13 seasons of the solo podcast Uncle Jim’s World of Bonds as part of the Bond Vigilantes blog.

Gavin Haynes, of consultancy Fairview Investing, said Leaviss had been “a figurehead” in the industry for his macroeconomic views, his fund management, as well as his blog.

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