Independent Argonaut sets sights beyond Europe

European equity specialist boutique Argonaut may look to expand beyond European funds once it is operationally independent from Ignis Asset Management.

Ignis is reducing its equity stake in the business from 50 per cent to 40 per cent. Argonaut Capital Partners will take management control, upping its 50 per cent stake to 60 per cent.

The transition is due to be completed in the next 12 months.

Argonaut will take over UK distribution while Ignis will continue with European distribution.

Argonaut Capital Partners partner Barry Norris says: “Initially, our focus will be on our existing products but there is a lot of capacity for our existing products to grow over the coming years. I would not rule out launching products outside the European area.”

He adds that the firm will appoint a chief operating officer in the next month and will make appointments in the operations, UK distribution and investment teams later this year.

Argonaut was founded in 2005 and has £1.1bn of funds under management. It has four onshore funds, including the £405.2m European income, £58.4m European enhanced income, £322.2m European alpha and £8.5m European absolute return funds.

Skerritt Consultants head of investment Andrew Merricks says: “Launching funds outside Europe would work if the firm brings on another specialist manager.”