Martin Currie bolsters its board to improve prospects
Martin Currie, one of Edinburgh’s oldest boutique asset management firms, has moved to shore up its asset management and executive expertise, bringing big names such as Carol Sergeant onto its board.
The independent firm, which was founded in 1881, has cited a total of £4.46bn (£4455m) in funds under management in July, slightly up on its June figures, at £4.4bn (£4362m).
The July figures are down slightly on its quarterly FUM at the end of May, which stood at £4.5bn (£4455m), and April, at £4.82bn (£4817m), which has been attributed to market movements.
However, at the end of 2008, the firm had £9.9bn in assets under management; over the past four years, Martin Currie has lost roughly £5bn, down mostly to market movements and some institutional outflows, such as some mandate losses in Australia in January this year.
But Andy Sowerby, managing director of Martin Currie, said: “Although markets have been exceptionally volatile over the past three months and many investors continue to shun equity funds, our funds under management have stayed constant at around £4.5bn.
“As an equity-only business we will see volatility in our asset base in line with market behaviour. Yet I am pleased to report we are once again seeing positive net sales as some investors start to take advantage of the current relative value offered by equity markets and the continual improvement in performance of many Martin Currie strategies.”
He said Martin Currie has been beefing up its senior management team and board to help bolster the boutique’s proposition, building on its heritage in equity fund management.
During its latest board reshuffle a few weeks ago, former FSA director of the regulatory process and risks directorate, Carol Sergeant, joined as a non-executive director. She is also working on the Simplified Products consultation with the Treasury, which reported at the end of July.
Malcolm Gourlay, who had been chairman the board since 2005, retired in July, and was replaced by Rich DeMartini as co-chairman, alongside fellow board member David Shearer.
Mr DeMartini is a director of Crestview Advisors, which is one of Martin Currie’s investors, and has been on the Martin Currie board since 2007.
Another relative newcomer this year to the senior management team is Darren Cannon, who, as Martin Currie’s chief operating officer, has overall responsibility for the firm’s operational functions.
It is also strengthening the management and analyst experience at fund level. Mr Sowerby said: “We have continued to add proven and seasoned professionals to our business. We are also adding further resource to our UK intermediary sales team and we will be announcing the details of these recruits shortly”.
In July, it hired Penny Kyle as an investment director within the North American equity team, following the hires of former Schroders analyst Matthew Franklin, and Gavin MacGregor of Credit Suisse, also as an analyst.
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