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Liontrust looks to rebuild after huge outflows

Liontrust chief executive Nigel Legge says the group is now well placed to grow despite massive outflows in its funds under management.

Last week, the firm revealed its funds under management fell by 60 per cent in the year to March 31 and by a further 700m since. Funds under management stood at 1.9bn at March 31 from 4.7bn 12 months earlier. At June 9, funds under management stood to 1.2bn.

Liontrust says the falls are due both to stockmarket volatility and the departure of senior fund managers Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson in January 2009. At December 31, 2008, the firm’s funds under management were 3.381bn.

The company has since appointed Gary West and James Inglis-Jones to run Lang and Pattisson’s portfolios. In March, the group also announced the appointment of a fixed-income team from Ilex Asset Management.

Profits fell by 25 per cent in the last financial year to 12.4m at March 31, down from 16.5m but performance fees increased by 10 per cent to 16.2m.

Chief executive Nigel Legge says: “These results should be seen in the context of a very difficult stockmarket and economic environment. The resignations of Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson have also had an impact on our assets under management and therefore revenues and profits.

“We are, however, now well placed to grow the business. 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.”

Liontrust has appointed former Gartmore managing director Adrian Collins as non-executive director and deputy chairman. Collins joins the board of directors and is set to replace non-executive chairman Bernard Asher, who is to retire. The firm has also appointed Ian Lewis as head of institutional clients.

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