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Liontrust assets plummet in difficult year

Liontrust saw its assets under management fall from 4.7 billion in 2008 to 1.2 billion as of yesterday, according to its final results released today.

Pre-tax profits fell by a quarter to 12.4m and basic earnings per share fell by the same degree to 28.3p. Meanwhile, performance fees increased 10% to 16.2m. However, Liontrust says it has no debt, with net cash on its balance sheet.

The chairman, Bernard Asher, described the year to March 31 as arguably the most difficult the group has ever faced. He said Liontrust will now be more dependent on sales and performance fees for revenue than has historically been the case.

He pointed to the firms disappointment to lose Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson in January, but said it was quick to announce succession plans for their funds. He also emphasised the companys intention to launch new products in the fixed income absolute return space in a bid to diversify away from British equities.

Asher is planning to step down as chairman, with Adrian Collins, a consultant to Strand Partners, joining to replace him.

Ian Lewis, formerly of New Star, was appointed the head of institutional clients.

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