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Liontrust funds under management fall 60%

Liontrust has revealed that its funds under management have fallen 60 per cent in the last financial year to March 31, 2009, with assets falling a further £700m since.

The asset manager has seen its assets drop to £1.9bn at March 31, 2009, from £4.7bn 12 months earlier. Assets have since fallen to £1.2bn in the following two months to June 9, 2009.

Liontrust has attributed the falls to both stock market conditions and the departure of the senior fund management duo of Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson in January 2009. At December 31, 2008 its funds under management stood at £3.381bn.

The group has since appointed Gary West and James Inglis-Jones to run Lang and Pattisson’s portfolios as well as announing the appointment of a fixed income team from Ilex Asset Management in March 2009.

Group profits for the firm also decreased by 25 per cent in the last financial year to £12.4m at March 31, 2009, down from £16.5m. Basic earnings per share decreased by 24 per cent to 28.3p, however performance fees increased by 10 per cent to £16.2m.

The group has offered a second interim dividend of 5 pence per share, with the full year dividend standing at 7.5p, down on the 12.5p for the 2008 financial year.

Liontrust chief executive Nigel Legge says: “’These results should be seen in the context of a very difficult stock market and economic environment. The resignations of Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson have also impacted on our assets under management and therefore revenues and profits.

“We are now well placed to grow the business, however. The succession plan for Jeremy and William was implemented within a couple of months. We were also able to announce our expansion into fixed income in March and intend to follow this with entry into other new asset classes in due course.”

“The launch of new absolute return equity and fixed income funds this year will help us to increase our assets under management.”



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