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Ashburton looks onshore in bid to raise visibility

Jersey-based asset manager Ashburton is considering an onshore fund offering in an attempt to make greater inroads into the UK retail market.

Regional sales manager Philip Childs says the penetration of its offshore funds is hampered as they are not listed by the Investment Management Association and they are not freely available on platforms.

But Childs says the biggest challenge for the firm, which has 1bn under management, is “invisibility” as all funds are held and managed in Jersey.

He says: “It is offshore funds for ‘offshore’ people. People do not know we are there because we are offshore. The best way of improving your visibility is by having a UK base. We can very happily carry on having FSA-recognised funds but why do people in the UK need to look further than the array of UK funds?”

Childs believes Ashburton has reached a crossroads and must decide upon a long-term strategy. He says the firm’s profile is very good but still one of “offshore” and to achieve a greater presence in the UK retail market, the firm will have to consider the onshore option.

He says the first stage would be to get a range of onshore FSA-authorised funds and then gradually build a UK based fund management operation at a later stage.

He says: “I would like to see a clear distinction between offshore and onshore funds. We will achieve a certain amount by carrying on the way we are but we would achieve a lot more if we were onshore. There are no timescale or plans but these are discussions which are taking place. It is something Ashburton should and probably will do, it is just a question of when.”

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