F&C to see fund levels fall

TROUBLED F&C Asset Management will report a fall in client fund levels this week despite the acquisition of Thames River Capital, Numis Securities has predicted.

F&C is forecast to say assets under management stood at £99.9bn at the end of June, down 1.6 per cent from April’s number but up 13 per cent year-on-year. The takeover of hedge fund boutique Thames River, due to complete next month, will add around £4.2bn to F&C’s assets.

F&C’s share price has been under pressure this year. The stock closed unchanged at 63p on Friday, having jumped 11.5p earlier in the week on the back of takeover talk.

Chief executive Alain Grisay is expected to meet with rebel shareholder Edward Bramson following the interim figures on Thursday. Bramson built up a 9.7 per cent stake in F&C last week through his AIM-listed turnaround vehicle, Sherborne.

Sherborne has a track record of buying shares in underperforming companies and forcing management change. F&C will be wary of Bramson’s potential to stir up discontent among other shareholders.

Numis believes F&C will deliver underlying earnings per share of 2.2p, up 0.3p year-on-year, based on an 11.9 per cent uplift in revenue to £117.6m.

In a note to clients, analyst David McCann predicted a half-year dividend of 2p per share.