Liontrust overhauls fund range and sells Asia Income team

Liontrust overhauls fund range and sells Asia Income team

Liontrust Asset Management is to overhaul its fund range in a move which will see five funds disappear from its offering and multiple fund managers leave the business.

In a stock exchange update published today (October 2), the fund house announced it had entered a conditional agreement to sell its Asia Income strategy — run by Mark Williams, Carolyn Chan and Shashank Savla — including the rights to manage the Liontrust Asia Income fund, to Somerset Capital Management.

The Liontrust GF Asia Income fund, the off-shore version of the fund, will close at the end of this month, at which point Mr Willians, Ms Chan and Mr Savla will leave Liontrust and move to Somerset.

Liontrust will gain up to £2m in cash, payable over five years, for the deal.

The decision follows an internal review of the product range as the fund house evaluates “where best to devote [its] resources” following significant growth over the past few years.

Liontrust is also set to close its European income and macro-thematic investment teams.

Its European income products — the European Income and European Enhanced Income funds — will be managed by the cashflow solution team with immediate effect and will be merged into the Liontrust European Growth fund.

Meanwhile, the global equity team will take the reins on Liontrust’s Macro Equity Income fund, which will be merged into the Liontrust Income fund, and the Macro UK Growth fund will be merged into the Liontrust UK Growth fund, managed by the economic advantage team.

The four members of the European income and macro-thematic investment teams, Olly Russ, Oisin O’Leary, Stephen Bailey and Jamie Clark, will leave the business in due course.

Subject to regulatory and investor approval, the mergers are expected to take place later this year.

Liontrust said: “[The business] has enjoyed significant growth over the past few years and has added the sustainable investment, global fixed income and global equity teams since 2017. 

“The completion of the acquisition of the Architas UK Investment Business on October 30 will take Liontrust's assets under management and advice to more than £25bn

“As a result of this rapid growth, we have been reviewing our fund ranges and evaluating where best to devote our resources and strategic focus over the next few years.”

In June this year Liontrust joined the FTSE 250 as its market cap, around £700m, was enough to boost it into the UK’s second tier index.

Liontrust — founded in 1995 and floated on the stock exchange in 1999 — has grown significantly over the past few years and its share price has jumped 225 per cent since the start of 2017.

During this time, it has acquired Alliance Trust Savings, rival fund house Neptune and adviser service provider Architas UK, as well as securing serious backing from asset managers such as BlackRock.

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