Liontrust roars to asset success after Walker Crips boosts funds

Michael Bow
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FUND manager Liontrust Asset Management yesterday reported an annual tripling of net inflows for the first half of this year as its recent acquisition of Walker Crips Asset Management sent assets under management soaring to £2.36bn.

Net inflows for the first half of this year hit £181m compared to £59m for the first six months of last year, giving Liontrust its ninth successive quarter of positive inflows.

Shares in the firm hit a five month high on the FTSE Fledgling index on the back of the news, closing up 3.75 per cent to finish at 109.72p, their highest value since May.

The all-share deal to buy Walker in April added £580m of funds under management for the first quarter, helping take its total asset base from £1.53bn six months ago to £2.36bn as of 24 September 2012.

Liontrust, which is led by former Societe Generale unit trust leader John Ions, has most of its assets in retail, around £1.75bn, with the remaining £576m managed on behalf of institutional clients.

Ions yesterday said the incoming Retail Distribution Review (RDR) legislation due for January 2013 would provide “tremendous opportunities and pose significant threats” to firms.

“The changes brought on by RDR should not be underestimated,” he warned.

“There may be much focus on price and consumer outcomes but it has also clearly identified that distribution power is now vital. An even greater amount of fund flows will be controlled by fewer more powerful distributors.”