Liontrust slides on outflows

LIONTRUST Asset Management yesterday announced it suffered £131m net outflows in the fourth quarter as it prepares to launch a range of new products and streamline its business.

The investment house’s shares fell 0.9 per cent to 115p after it revealed assets under management dropped to £1.18bn over the three months to December. One institutional client withdrew a £34m chunk from the firm’s large cap portfolio in a single transaction.

Liontrust saw net outflows of £902m in the preceding quarter after the departure of key fund managers Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson, a serious blow. Since then the company has hired Ross Hollyman, a well-respected manager, from rival GAM and set out plans to launch several funds spanning long/short equity, credit and absolute return products.

Liontrust said it would look to make cost savings of £2.5m annually from this March. The move is likely to involve the closure of its US sales office and a reduction of headcount elsewhere in the business.

Chief financial officer Vinay Abrol told City A.M.: “The last year’s been a tough year for us, as with a lot of fund managers. We’re certainly not happy with the level of the fund flows which is partly why we’re going to cut costs.”

Altium Securities, the stockbroker, retained its “hold” recommendation despite the outflow of cash.