Investments  

Merian ploughs £19m into challenger bank

Merian ploughs £19m into challenger bank

The managers of the recently launched Merian Chrysalis investment trust have invested £19m into the latest funding round of Starling, a challenger bank.

Merian Chrysalis is run by Richard Watts and Nick Williamson, who are respectively mid and small cap fund managers at Merian.

The aim of the trust is to invest relatively large sums in a small number of unquoted shares.

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The trust launched in November 2018, and has total assets of £98.5m.

In an update to the market this morning (February 13) the trust confirmed it had invested in Starling, a fully licensed bank which offers current accounts and payments services.

Starling stated the cash will be deployed to expand into Europe as well as in the development of its current services.  

Mr Watts said: "We have been very impressed by Starling's growth plans and the infrastructure it has developed over the last few years.

"We believe there is a significant opportunity for the business to leverage its capabilities, particularly to expand in the SME market. We are excited to be supporting Starling's ambition to transform the wider banking sector."

Following the completion of this investment, Chrysalis will have invested 85 per cent of its capital.

The trust trades at a premium to net assets of 4.1 per cent.

david.thorpe@ft.com