Liontrust fund suffers as investors take out 924m

LIONTRUST Asset Management reported client withdrawals of &pound;924m in the half-year to September, as the departure of its star fund managers unnerved investors.<br /><br />The firm said in its half year trading update to the market that assets under management stood at &pound;1.28bn on 22 September, compared with &pound;1.88bn on 1 April. <br /><br />The asset falls were offset by the continued market rallies over the period which boosted&nbsp; fund returns. <br /><br />Chief executive Nigel Legge said most of the withdrawals were made by institutional investors in the period immediately after Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson left. He added that withdrawals were beginning to slow. <br /><br />&ldquo;Liontrust has begun to stabilise after the most challenging six months for the business since it was established in 1995,&rdquo; said Legge.<br /><br />He added: &ldquo;We are adding Ross Hollyman and his team to our existing fund management capability and we successfully launched the Liontrust European Absolute Return Fund in July, for which we have raised nearly &pound;20m in assets so far.&rdquo; <br /><br />Legge said the firm is now gearing up for further new fund launches over the next few months, including a version of its bond-buying Liontrust Credit Fund that can be sold across Europe. The firm&rsquo;s second-half results will be released on 25 November.