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Liontrust reassures as outflows persist

LIONTRUST Asset Management has continued to suffer sharp withdrawals following the shock resignation of star fund managers Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson, but chief executive Nigel Legge has said efforts to stabilise the group will pay off.<br /><br />During the second quarter clients withdrew &pound;929m from the firm&rsquo;s funds and the total of new investments made over the period was a paltry &pound;27m.<br /><br />Legge told City A.M. he cannot say at this stage if the level of new investments will pick up this quarter and stop the firm haemorrhaging client money. &ldquo;I hope so,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />He said the launch of a stellar-performing hedge-fund type product to retail markets &ndash; a European &ldquo;absolute return&rdquo; fund that produced gains last year of 11 per cent &ndash; and strong recent performance on the group&rsquo;s flagship funds should help stem the losses.<br /><br />The firm&rsquo;s net assets under management were &pound;1.1bn at the end of the second quarter, compared to &pound;1.2bn at the end of the first &ndash; the figure was flattered by rises on global equity markets.<br /><br />Hargreaves Lansdown fund expert Ben Yearsley said the news in January that Lang and Pattisson, some of the most respected fund managers in the industry, were leaving will continue to suppress the levels of new investment for some time.<br /><br />&ldquo;This was a near-terminal blow,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We will probably see some more of this over the next quarter and I don&rsquo;t see it stopping.&rdquo;<br /><br />Liontrust added yesterday that the team of Ross Hollyman&ndash; the respected fund manager from hedge firm GAM, who is set to head Liontrust&rsquo;s global fund range from early next year &ndash; is now joining in October ahead of Hollyman&rsquo;s arrival.