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How will Liontrust fare in the multi-asset market?

Advisers are split on how Liontrust Asset Management will compete as a smaller firm in the multi-asset market following its acquisition of North Investment Partners Limited.

Liontrust acquired the North Investment business last week. The new multi-asset team will be headed by North Investment chief executive John Husselbee, with his firm set to join Liontrust at the end of October.

Former LV= manager Paul Kim is also joining the Liontrust multi-asset team as a senior fund manager.

Murphy Financial associate partner Adrian Murphy questions whether Liontrust will be able to compete in the multi-asset market, which is dominated by larger players.

Murphy says: “No doubt there is demand for multi-asset products, it is a big opportunity in the market and I am all for innovation.

“However Liontrust is maybe coming to the space a bit late because there are a lot of well-established big players already. The question is, can a small player break into that?”

Whitechurch Securities head of research Ben Willis argues there could still be room for Liontrust to enter the market as more of a boutique-style firm. He says: “It is a big enough space for Liontrust to try and get some kind of market share. Liontrust has gone from strength to strength and this is its next move to diversify the range. Its brand is still seen as being quite boutique and that is an attractive point for some investors.”

Willis also adds the transition could prove “a bit of a slow burn”, depending on how well the team is able to asset allocate and perform.

As part of the acquisition there is expected to be no change to the way Husselbee and his existing team manage its current £135m of multi-asset portfolios at North Investment.

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