Paris-headquartered asset manager Comgest has backed London with the launch of its first UK office in Mayfair.
UK-based clients represent approximately seven per cent of Comgest’s asset under management, around £1.8bn out of £25.1bn.
Comgest’s chief executive officer Arnaud Cosserat said: “Comgest has always taken a long-term view. Establishing a local presence in the UK market, despite Brexit, reflects our enduring commitment to servicing our British investors.”
The firm works with UK pension funds, family offices and wealth managers across emerging markets, Asia, Japan and European equity.
Comgest has hired Iain MacPherson from Standard Life Investments as a member of its investor relations team.
Cosserat said: “His depth of experience within the UK wholesale market is a great addition to the team and his partnership approach to relationships with investors reflects very much the values of our firm.”
Based in the company’s new Mayfair office, he will work with country-head Jane Russell who works out of Comgest’s Paris headquarters.
Speaking to City A.M. MacPherson said that Comgest saw London as a long-term growth opportunity.
“Comgest are very much long-term in their investments, they are about quality growth and they see this as a long-term plan,” he said.
He said that the aim of the office was to service existing clients and expand in the UK, with plans to make further hires in the future.
“We would hope to be able to build a team from here,” he said.
MacPherson said that the prospect of Brexit did not dampen the firm’s desire to open a London outpost.
“Nothing was put on hold they were quick to get me in the door… this has been on the cards since June last year,” he said.
Comgest aims to increase the accessibility of its equity funds to the UK wholesale market. It has added sterling-denominated share classes across its product range in recent years.