Neptune brand dropped after takeover

Neptune brand dropped after takeover
Robin Geffen, founder of Neptune Investment Management

The Neptune brand will be dropped and all funds rebranded as the firm's takeover by rival Liontrust completes.

Liontrust Asset Management today (October 1) announced it has completed the acquisition of the Hammersmith-based fundhouse and has rebranded the funds and the firm.

The Neptune investment team, headed by Neptune Investment Management’s founder Robin Geffen, is now named the Liontrust Global Equity team while the Neptune Global Income fund has been rebranded the Liontrust Global Dividend fund.

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Liontrust stated Mr Geffen, who was chief executive of Neptune as well as a fund manager, would focus solely on managing funds and the investment team post-takeover.

A total of 19 funds — ranging from global and income to regional and emerging market — have been added to Liontrust’s proposition but there will be no change to the managers running the funds or the investment process used.

Neptune's sale to Liontrust was confirmed on July 31 for £40m, after being announced earlier this year.

As at the end of July, Neptune had assets under management of £3bn, meaning the combined firm was set to have assets of £17bn.

Neptune had experienced a drop in profits and an exodus of key staff members the year before Liontrust swooped in to acquire the fundhouse.

Accounts filed at companies house on August 21 showed the company recorded a pre-tax profit of £101,000 for the year to December 31, 2018, compared with £994,000 for the 2017 calendar year — a 90 per cent drop.

Neptune had also been blighted by the exit of a number of fund managers in recent years, including high performing European equity manager Rob Burnett, who left the business in December 2018, and US equity head Ali Unwin, who quit in August 2018.

Liontrust stated the acquisition had broadened its fund range and investment skills predominantly in areas not already covered by its current eight investment teams.

John Ions, chief executive of Liontrust, said: “This is great for Liontrust and for the investment team at Neptune. 

“We have been impressed by the quality of Robin and his team and they bring an excellent range of funds with strong long-term performance.”

Mr Ions said Liontrust provided Neptune’s team with an environment which would enable them to concentrate on “delivering returns” and “meeting the expectations of clients and investors”.

Mr Geffen added: “We are delighted to be joining Liontrust and benefiting from the leadership at the company along with the impressive sales and marketing teams. 

“We have seen how they have grown awareness and assets for other investment teams at Liontrust.

“The move to Liontrust allows me to devote all my time to managing the Global Equity investment team and the funds I run.”

Mr Geffen said he was excited about focusing all his energy on his “real passion of managing funds” and thrilled he could continue to manage the funds exactly how he wanted.