Liontrust sinks its teeth into market to attract more money

Michael Bow
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SMALL scale asset manager Liontrust yesterday continued its march forward after it moved into the third consecutive year of customers’ giving it more money to manage.

The fund manager, which is half owned by several asset managers including Schroders and Henderson, posted its ninth consecutive quarter of inflows as it announced its interim results yesterday.

The surge has helped the firm march up the ladder of fund managers by assets under management, propelling it closer to the top third of biggest managers from its former position as a mid market manager.

The firm, which relies on retail investors for three quarters of its business, added £189m of new money for the half year up until the end of September. This was more than the £59m added in the same period last year.

The rise took its assets under management up 55 per cent in just six months to £2.36bn at the end of September, led largely by its takeover of rival Walker Crips Asset Management in April adding £581m.

Chief executive John Ions said: “While there has been much focus recently on the cost of fund management, we continue to believe that investors will be prepared to pay for active managers who can deliver outperformance and in our case this has been achieved across our fund management teams.”

The firm grew revenues by 59 per cent, which grew profit before tax from £22,000 to £900,000.

Like most retail asset managers, the company has invested substantially in brand awareness. Analysts estimate the group spends around £1.5m a year, which works out as a third of its total non-wage costs of £4.4m.

Chairman Adrian Collins said the firm would dedicate a “great deal of our sales activity” to growing the Walker Crips Asset Management team as it integrates the firm.

“We have received very positive feedback from the market,” he said.