Sanlam’s Polin joins Argonaut Capital as Norris seizes control of fund manager

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Barry Norris has taken full control of Argonaut Capital, ending his joint venture with Standard Life Investments, and has hired Sanlam’s Jonathan Polin.

Norris formed Argonaut as a joint venture with Britannic Asset Management, which then became Resolution, then Ignis and most recently Standard Life Investments.

As a result of the move Oliver Russ, who is lead manager of the £169m Argonaut European Income fund and the £131m European Enhanced Income fund, will move to Liontrust, taking the two funds with him.

Argonaut will retain the European Alpha, pan-European Alpha and Absolute Return businesses, which has around £1.1bn in assets.

Argonaut Capital has also hired Sanlam chief executive Jonathan Polin as its chairman. Polin was involved in founding Argonaut when he was at Britannic. He will continue in his role at Sanlam following the appointment.

Polin says: “I have a long association with Argonaut and am extremely pleased to witness its strong growth, particularly since the business became operationally independent.

“Argonaut’s investment process has proven the test of time and this move will allow the group to continue to invest in its investment team and distribution capabilities.”

Liontrust will merge Russ’ two Argonaut funds into the the Liontrust European Income and Liontrust European Enhanced Income Funds, which will be launched shortly. Russ will run the two funds, using the same investment process as currently.

As a result, Russ will become head of European income at the asset manager. The transition of the funds is due to be completed in June this year.

John Ions, chief executive of Liontrust, says: “Olly Russ will be an excellent addition to our six existing fund management teams. Olly is an experienced and highly respected manager and will extend our equity income capability at a time when demand for income investing is only going to rise through increased longevity and pension freedoms.”

Argonaut’s separation from SLI is subject to regulatory approval.