Fund houses set to benefit from Neptune sale

Fund houses set to benefit from Neptune sale

Clients of wealth managers Rathbones and City Financial Asset Management will be among the beneficiaries of the £40m sale of Neptune Investment Management to Liontrust.

The company is to be sold for £40m to rival fundhouse Liontrust, in a deal confirmed yesterday morning (July 31). 

Data from Companies House shows Rathbones clients have a 2.6 per cent stake in the company, while City Financial Asset Management holds about 1.3 per cent of the shares. 

FTAdviser understands these are the only two fundhouses invested in the fund manager.

The largest shareholder in the business is its founder and chief executive, Robin Geffen, who has a stake of about 45 per cent. At a selling price of £40m, Mr Geffen should receive about £18m. 

The fund manager Rob Burnett, who resigned from Neptune in December 2018 to set up his own firm, had a 1 per cent holding at the date of the last filing from Neptune, which was also in December. 

The fund manager Mark Martin, and directors of the company Jonathan Punter, Stewart Southall and Richard Green are also shareholders.

Mr Punter and Mr Southall are directors of specialist pensions business the Punter Southall Group, which is the largest shareholder in XPS, and also runs advice business Punter Southall Financial Management and workplace pension business Punter Southall Aspire.

Mr Geffen and all of the Neptune fund managers will become employees of Liontrust, and transfer to the latter company's office in central London.

Commenting on Liontrust’s acquisition of Neptune, Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at AJ Bell, said: “The deal brings Liontrust some interesting exposure in areas it does not currently have funds, such as China, Russia, India and Technology.

"However, some of these funds are sub-scale with assets of less than £100m and it may be that in time these are non-core.

"It’s worth noting that there is overlap between Liontrust’s existing offerings and those they have acquired, notably in the UK and Europe, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some mergers to focus the fund range and make use of the savings that larger funds bring.” 

Jason Hollands, managing director for business development at wealth manager Tilney said: “For Liontrust this move further broadens out its product range and capacities and will boost earnings as the cost and revenue synergies come through. 

"It is the latest - and arguably the boldest - in series of bolt-on acquisition deals that appear to have been well executed with no disruption for its longstanding teams.”