Argonaut to take control in joint venture with Ignis

Argonaut Capital Partners is set to become operationally independent from Ignis Asset Management to improve its core in-house offering.

The European equity-focused boutique follows in the footsteps of Hexam, another Ignis joint venture, which became independent last year.

Ignis will retain a financial interest in Argonaut, as it did with Hexam. The business is currently structured as a 50/50 joint venture but Ignis will reduce its stake in Argonaut from 50 per cent to 40 per cent.

Barry Norris and Olly Russ, the partners at Argonaut, will continue to head the firm’s funds.

Over a period of 12 to 18 months, Argonaut will take control of UK distribution, marketing and back-office support but Ignis will be retaining responsibility for all European distribution and marketing. This is different to Hexam, which handles its own European distribution.

Hexam become independent from Ignis in July last year when Ignis reduced its stake from 65 per cent to 35 per cent. Ignis ended another joint venture with multi-manager firm Maia Capital Partners in July 2009.

A spokesman says: “It has been part of our strategy since 2009 to divest our joint ventures and to hold a retaining stake in them rather than providing all the support. We remain committed to Cartesian because it is much smaller and earlier in its development than Argonaut.”

He adds: “Argonaut is set to hire people at all levels of the business to strengthen resources.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “There is nothing on my radar at the moment at Ignis in terms of the in-house offering, other than property. I think it needs to concentrate on it and improve it.”

McDermott says he expects Cartesian to become independent once a substantial amount of funds are raised in the boutique.