Liontrust’s latest acquisition will bring “greater transparency and efficiency” for financial advisers as the fund house looks to invest in technology which give IFAs real time data on their clients’ portfolios.
Earlier this week (July 1) Liontrust announced it had agreed to buy the Architas UK investment business for £75m in a bid to expand its distribution reach among advisers.
The acquisition brings a multi-asset fund management team as well as Architas Advisory Services, which provides tools and data to IFAs, including risk profiling technology and co-branding facilities, to Liontrust.
John Ions, Liontrust's chief executive, told FTAdviser: “It’s about building on what Architas has already got. It has a lot of tools to service advisers, so the acquisition is about service to IFAs and helping advisers with their own clients.
“This can be done more efficiently and effectively online and can be tailored for them.”
Mr Ions said once the acquisition completed and Liontrust had invested in Architas’ existing products, advisers would be able to access information about their clients’ investments in real time.
He added: “It’s about transparency and suitability, about being able to access information as quickly and easily as possible. Making sure clients are in the right portfolio and ongoing monitoring to ensure the suitability is right going forward.
“We will try to service advisers as effectively as possible. Architas already has a range of tools but we will build on it, it’s our sense of direction.”
Once the acquisition is completed, expected by the end for 2020, the Architas name will disappear completely within the UK.
Mr Ions said there would be no need for any staff to leave the firm as there were “no areas of overlap”. He added: “You buy the business for the people inside, so you’re not going to get rid of the assets.”
Liontrust would consider further acquisitions if there was “a level of excellence” in a business and it matched the fund house’s own capacity and goals, but it was not “on the hunt” for more buyouts, Mr Ions said.
He said: “A lot of asset managers go wrong by looking at a gap in their range and trying to fit something there. But it’s got to be good people, top of their class, and an excellent business.
“Those are the sort of people I want inside of Liontrust. We need to follow that level and have a high bar, rather than look at stuff as ‘that would be nice to have’.”
Mr Ions said Liontrust had “no ambition” to enter the platform space, although he did not rule it out as a future development of the company.
He said: “We would never not consider it. The short-term answer is no. Platform providers do an excellent job and we have access on every major platform.
“Generally, I think you should stick to things you’re good at.”