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Martin Currie makes independence move

Martin Currie has sold almost 25 per cent of its equity to Crestview and Lord Rothschild in a bid to widen its on-going independence. The move, which is subject to regulatory approval, will see New York based investment firm Crestview take on 17.43 per cent, while 7.47 per cent will go to investment vehicles associated with Lord Rothschild.

Martin Currie CEO Willie Watt says the move will ensure the firms independence ethos, a crucial factor in attracting staff and making long-term decisions.

He says: “It provides the limited liquidity we need, and facilitates the orderly transfer of ownership from one generation of employees to the next. By exercising options, as part of this transaction 26 of our key investment personnel and more recent recruits will become larger shareholders in the business. This is a strong vote of confidence, both in the transaction itself and in Martin Currie’s future.

“The second reason is that the parties making this investment in Martin Currie bring extensive experience, contacts and standing in our field. They will add significantly to our business through being able to help us with both the development of our investment approach and skills, and our strategy for the next phase of our growth.”

Crestview Partners Richard DeMartin says: “We firmly believe that Martin Currie is uniquely positioned due to its ownership structure, product focus and strong performance credentials. We are deeply impressed by Willie Watt, his senior management team and the depth and quality of the investment talent in the firm. As such we are delighted to be a partner in Martin Currie’s future growth. ”

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