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Liontrust plans £2.5m cuts as duo join to turn round outflows

Liontrust Asset Management has appointed John Ions and Graham Hooper as the company looks to rebuild its business following the departures of Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson.

Ions joins as head of retail, having been chief executive of Tactica Asset Management since it was formed in 2005.

Former AWD marketing director Hooper joins the company an independent non-executive director and will look to grow business in the retail area with his knowledge of fund distribution.

The appointments come despite Liontrust setting out plans to cut £2.5m a year in costs from the next financial year.

The measures are expected to include the closure of the firm’s North American sales and marketing office, as well as cutting other employment and operating costs, and restructuring deals with UK operating subsidiaries into limited liability partnerships.

Liontrust reported £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 from the retail range.

Liontrust saw its performance fees fall to £3.3m in the fourth quarter of last year from £7m in the final quarter of 2008. The company reiterates plans to add further funds to its range in the next few months for its credit and global equity teams.

It has also confirmed the launch of a joint-venture business for its global equity team, which is headed by Ross Hollyman. Liontrust is to invest £850,000 for Liontrust Global Investment Services Limited and has an option to buy the team out after five years.

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “The team of James Inglis-Jones and Gary West has done reasonably well since taking on the first income fund but not enough to justify assets not leaving following the departures of Jeremy Lang and William Pattisson last year.”

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