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Management buyout of specialist fund manager

Management buyout of specialist fund manager

RIT Capital, the £3.2bn investment trust chaired by Lord Jacob Rothschild, has sold its stake in GVQ Investment Management to its leadership team.

GVQ runs two Irish-domiciled open-ended funds and the £185m Strategic Equity Capital Investment Trust, giving it a total of £700m in assets.

The trust has starkly under performed the AIC UK Smaller Companies sector over the past three years to 2 January, returning 24 per cent, compared with 62 per cent for the average trust in the sector but it has outperformed the index over the past year.

Jamie Seaton, chief executive of GVQ, said assets at the firm had doubled during the period the company was owned by RIT.

He said: "We are grateful to RIT for its support over recent years. This is an exciting time for the company and we look forward to further developing GVQ as a world class, now fully independent, specialist asset manager."

The company's trust is currently managed by Jeff Harris, following the resignation last year of SEC’s high-profile manager Stuart Widdowson.

Mr Widdowson has since become a partner with Harwood Capital.

RIT Capital invests in both quoted and unquoted businesses, buys equities directly and also invests in other funds.

A representative of RIT Capital said: “The growth of GVQ under RIT’s ownership has been pleasing and this transaction represents an attractive realisation of our investment.

"The management buyout ensures continuity of GVQ’s investment team and allows them to build on the achievements of recent years. We wish the team every success and we will continue to benefit from GVQ’s investment expertise through RIT’s shareholding in Strategic Equity Capital PLC."

david.thorpe@ft.com

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