Sloane Robinson Partners share £61m in profits

SLOANE Robinson, the City partnership famed for its high levels of compensation, saw profits tumble last year – but its managers still shared some £61m in profits between them.

The amount shared between 14 senior managers fell more than 80 per cent from a record peak of £341m in 2007/8 to £61m in 2008/9, accounts filed with Companies House reveal. The highest-paid member, thought to be chief investment officer Richard Chenevix-Trench, took home £14m compared with £87m before the onset of the financial crisis.

In the past Sloane Robinson has been known for paying its top staff more than even the highest earners at Goldman Sachs or Barclays Capital. But the slump reflects the tough times faced by hedge fund managers, who rely on strong returns to generate performance fees. Fees typically make up over half a fund’s income.

Many of Sloane Robinson’s portfolios strayed into negative territory last year, including co-founder Hugh Sloane’s SR Global?International fund and Chenevix-Trench’s Asia and emerging markets funds.

Mark Leader, partner at the firm, told City A.M. the drop in profits was “entirely” down to poor performance as a result of volatile stockmarkets. He declined to comment on whether clients had withdrawn cash, but said: “Companies like ourselves make money from our clients, and the 2008 year was when we were just looking to hold onto performance, so it’s like a treading water operation. I’d rather the figures were like the year before, but we were happy with it... We still run a decent amount [of money].”

The year before the boom period of 2007/8, Sloane?Robinson’s partners shared around £200m between them.