F&C takes hit as outflows reach £7bn

SHARES in F&C Asset Management sank nearly five per cent yesterday after it posted £7.2bn of net outflows during last year.

The fund management firm, which has endured a turbulent 12 months including a boardroom coup and a series of job cuts, saw total assets under management drop 5.4 per cent to £100.1bn after the loss of some key clients.

Edward Bramson, the activist investor and chairman, said F&C’s shift towards institutional work had been “well received by clients, consultants and shareholders” at a time when the industry has taken a battering.

Bramson, whose Sherborne Investors has a stake in F&C of nearly 20 per cent, took over as executive chairman last October when chief executive Alain Grisay announced his retirement, due in May, a decision widely blamed on conflicts between the two men.

Bramson said his £33.2m of cost-savings would be completed during 2013 and chief financial officer David Logan left the door open to more job cuts when he refused to be drawn on the contents of the second half of a strategic review, due to be published in May.

“Clearly if you’re going to focus on growth you need to ensure you have the appropriate levels of resources to support that growth,” he said.

F&C reduced its full-time staff by 111 in the year to 1 March. It reported a five per cent rise in 2011 group underlying profit before tax to £47m. Net revenue rose 9.8 per cent to £267m.