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Liontrust hires John Ions as head of retail

Liontrust Asset Management has appointed John Ions to the new role of head of retail at the firm.

Liontrust says the hire is the latest step in rebuilding the business following the resignation of fund managers Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson in January 2009.

The firm hired Ross Hollyman as head of a new global equity team at the start of this year while Adrian Collins became non-executive chairman in January.

Former AWD marketing director Graham Hooper also joined recently as an independent non-executive director.

Last week, Liontrust announced a range of cost-cutting measures in a bid to save £2.5m a year. It announced £131m of outflows in the fourth quarter of 2009, with the firm’s assets under management on December 31, 2009 standing at £1,180m. Of the total outflows, £33m came out of the retail range.

Liontrust has also seen its performance fees more than halve from £3,332,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to £7m in the final quarter of 2008.

Ions has been chief executive of Tactica Fund Management since it was established in 2005 and before that was joint managing director of SG Asset Management and chief executive of Societe Generale Unit Trusts after co-founding the business in 1998. Other roles included head of distribution at Aberdeen Asset Management.

Liontrust chief executive Nigel Legge says: “John is the ideal person to drive forward the retail side of the business as we rebuild the company over the coming months and years. With the long-term performance record of the four fund management teams at Liontrust, we believe we have a compelling proposition for the retail market.”

Ions says: “With the launch of new funds over the next couple of months, Liontrust has a broader and dynamic range to take to the retail market. I am really looking forward to the challenge of rebuilding the business.”

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