Gervais Williams on why Miton is no M&A target

Gervais Williams on why Miton is no M&A target

Gervais Williams, senior executive director at fund house Miton Group, said he believes the company will avoid being caught up in the current wave of mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity rife in the asset management industry.

Some fund managers, including Simon Gergel, who runs the £638m Merchants Investment Trust, take the view that in light of recent mega mergers in the sector such as Janus and Henderson Global Investors, and Standard Life with Aberdeen, only the very big or very niche firms in the asset management will survive.

The Miton Group results, released yesterday (21 September), suggested it falls into neither of those camps.

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Its assets under management at the end of June were £3.3bn, while the company’s funds are in developed market equities and multi-asset, rather than niche markets.

But Mr Williams said although the funds we run are in quite mainstream areas, the approach they take is quite different.

"Our UK equity income fund is multi-cap, we are not just interested in slightly outperforming the index, and focusing on the FTSE 350.

"It is the same with our US equity fund, it is multi-cap, and the multi-asset funds invest in a wide range of areas, so we think we have a unique approach, and we are growing. That should keep us out of the M&A activity.”

David Barron, chief executive at Miton Group, said the company has been growing organically and so doesn’t need to buy growth, nor does the company have any need to be acquired.

Miton expects to hit its full-year profit target, Mr Barron said, adding inflows had come from across the range of funds the company runs.

He said the simplicity of Miton’s business, which has no funds located in other jurisdictions, means the costs of implementing regulation such as Mifid, will not be significant.

Related to the incoming Mifid II rules, Miton is currently still deciding whether to absorb fund research costs, as several other fund houses have decided to, or pass them onto clients.