Mergers and acquisitions  

Martin Gilbert’s AssetCo acquires Saracen Fund Managers

Martin Gilbert’s AssetCo acquires Saracen Fund Managers

Saracen Fund Managers has been acquired by AssetCo, chaired by former Standard Life Aberdeen joint chief executive Martin Gilbert, for £2.75m.

The purchase of the Edinburgh-based fund manager will consist of 166,904 new ordinary shares and £664,774 in cash, to be paid on completion.  

Saracen chief executive officer Graham Campbell said: “We’ve known Martin and Peter for some time and are excited about working with them to help grow Saracen’s three existing funds and to develop the overall business. Importantly the investment philosophy and  team will remain the same. 

“We believe our focus on active management and fundamental research with a  long-term mindset is well placed to help investors achieve their financial goals. Our clients are supportive of  this approach and we are now focused on introducing our funds to a wider range of prospective investors.” 

The acquisition is conditional and subject to approval by the FCA, which is expected to be granted by the end of September 2021.

Following completion of the acquisition, Gilbert and AssetCo deputy chairman and CEO Peter McKellar will join the board of Saracen. 

McKellar said: “Saracen is a small fund management firm with great potential. Its business model, people and product  offering are its key assets and are an ideal fit for AssetCo. I’m looking forward to working with Graham and the team. 

“Our focus will be on building on Saracen’s strong foundations, particularly the experience and expertise  of its management team and their investment approach.

"We aim to grow the business through marketing its existing funds and over time broadening its product range to continue to meet the needs of customers. "

He added the acquisition was part of AssetCo’s strategy of acquiring asset and wealth management businesses.

"The industry is contending with multiple structural shifts, including demographics, fee compression and a greater focus on ESG. These are presenting challenges and opportunities for incumbent firms and we believe we can capitalise on this to help unlock value and to deliver for clients and investors,” he said.

Earlier this year, industry veteran Gilbert also invested his personal cash into an environmental, social and governance focused asset manager run by former Aberdeen colleague Brad Crombie.

sonia.rach@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on FTAletters@ft.com to let us know