REGENT Fund Management is seeking approval from Regent Global fund holders to change the fund's manager to Manulife Regent Investment Corp, a joint venture between Regent and Canadian life insurer Manulife. The name of the fund also will be changed, to Manulife Regent Global Fund. 'Basically, we want to separate the marketing from the fund management work,' said Jim Mellon, managing director of Regent. The 50-50 joint venture will free Regent from marketing the fund, enabling it to focus on strategic day-to-day fund management. 'We are not a retail strategist. Manulife put in the money and we put in our fund, the Regent Global Fund,' Mr Mellon said. Only Regent Global Fund, an umbrella fund, will be part of the joint venture because it is the only one authorised for retail sales. It has about US$80 million under management. Richard Crook, managing director of Manulife International Investment Management, will be recruited to the board of directors of the fund. Mr Mellon said everything else on the fund including charges would remain unchanged. Although the intention of the joint venture is for Regent to tap Manulife's distribution channels, the no-load nature of the fund is a disincentive for Manulife's insurance agents, who live on commissions. Manulife Financial, one of the world's largest insurance companies, has an indirect interest of 35.2 per cent in the shares of Altamira Management, which in turn owns 71.3 per cent of the Regent Pacific Group, Regent's parent company. Regent makes its name known in the market by offering no-load mutual funds. It has about $3 billion under management. Regent recently issued new shares to British-based Equitable Life Insurance, raising about $25 million. Regent Fund Management was now 'brimming with cash', having total capital of $275 million, said Mr Mellon.