In a note to investors dated early November, Manek wrote that after consulting with the fund’s trustee National Westminster Bank (Natwest), he had decided to close up shop before the end of the year, concluding that the fund was “below the minimum sustainable value”.
Manek’s fund has consistently been the worst or one of the worst performing members of the 250-strong Investment Association Specialist sector since it was launched in 2007.
While the sector has on average produced total returns of 296% over the last 20 years in sterling terms, the Manek Growth fund is down -53.18%, according to FE.
And across all IA categories on a 17-year view, his Manek Growth fund was the weakest performing fund, delivering returns of -73.1%, data from Thomson Reuters Lipper shows, making Manek the worst manager in the country during one of the longest bull runs in history.
Unsurprisingly, the fund has shrunk in size considerably over time, falling from £300m at its peak to its current £8.2m.
Manek first came to prominence after winning the Sunday Times’ Fantasy Fund manager competition in 1994 and again in 1995, collecting £100k per victory and earning the attention of legendary American-born British investor John Templeton, who later backed him with £10m.
Shortly after his consecutive wins, the former pharmacist and aspiring manager launched his first and only fund in 1997, becoming the first British Indian fund manager.
Three years later, the Manek Growth Fund had attracted more than £100m in investments, boosting the value of the fund up 160% to £300m.
“We have monitored the overall investment in the fund and have concluded it is below the minimum sustainable value,” Manek wrote to unit holders.
“We believe, that continuing to operate the fund at this level would not be economically viable as the fund size is too small to be managed efficiently.”
The fund will commence winding up on 28 December.