Clunie will take to the helm of the £482m fund from 1 September, while Gibbs is to retire in October next year.
Clunie joined the firm yesterday from SWIP, where he managed a range of UK long-only funds and the equity long/short SWIP UK Flexible Strategy Fund. Tony Foster replaced him as manager of the fund in April this year.
Gibbs, who has been with the firm since 1997, has run a range of funds during his tenure, including the Jupiter Financial Opportunities Fund, which he still co-manages with Guy de Blonay.
He also manages the Jupiter Second Split Investment Trust, which he will continue to manage until the end of October 2014 when it is due to wind up.
Commenting on the news, Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial, said: “We have been long-standing supporters of Philip Gibbs, having promoted his Financial Opportunities fund from launch, and his long-term track record in fund management is excellent.
“The only disappointment has been the Jupiter Absolute Return fund, which looked the perfect vehicle for Philip, but which has failed to perform – it hasn’t lost investors money but neither has it made any over its three and a half years.
“The news that James Clunie will be taking over the Absolute Return fund on 1st September comes as no surprise. In my view he is the industry guru in shorting and has a fantastic track record running absolute return strategies”