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New Star putting a hold on buys after EFM deal

New Star&#39s purchase of Edinburgh Fund Managers&#39 retail funds and multi-manager business brings chairman John Duffield&#39s buying spree to an end for the foreseeable future.

New Star head of retail sales Mark Skinner says the 24 funds which the firm has bought from Aberdeen Asset Management, including 10 funds of funds, are the final piece in the jigsaw for its retail business.

The funds, which total around £840m, bump up its retail assets under management to £4.2bn for a £33m outlay.

More than half of EFM&#39s retail assets are in its portfolio fund of funds business run by Mark Harris, who joins New Star as part of the deal along with several other members of his team, including Craig Heron.

Skinner, who expects the business to be rebranded New Star Portfolio, says it will have full autonomy to run the funds as the managers want, with no obligation to buy its parent&#39s funds.

The main question mark is over the future of the fund of investment trusts that New Star acquired when it bought Exeter Funds Managers&#39 unit trust business. Skinner says no decision has been made on whether they will be run alongside the portfolio business or by Harris and his team, who are expected to join when the deal completes in around six weeks.

Skinner says deals have also not been struck with other Edinburgh managers although he does not rule it out. Other backroom staff, however, are almost certain to be recruited in the coming weeks when decisions have been made on fund mergers.

Skinner says: “This basically completes our retail acquisitions. We are not looking at any other company.

“There is plenty of capacity and the key now is to focus on organic growth and on delivering performance to our investors.”

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