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SVM pair open second boutique for Britannic

Britannic Asset Management is setting up an Edinburgh-based UK boutique in a joint venture with former SVM managers David Stevenson and Andrew Kelly.

Stevenson and Kelly, who ran SVM’s UK opportunities fund and Saltire hedge fund respectively, approached Britannic sales and marketing director Jonathan Polin following the firm’s deal with former Neptune managers Barry Norris and Oliver Russ, who now run its Argonaut European boutique.

The venture will be a 50-50 partnership between Britannic and the two managers, with Britannic providing marketing and distribution expertise and Kelly and Stevenson providing intellectual capital and fund management skills.

The boutique will launch with two fund offerings. A long-only fund will be seeded with 20m of Britannic’s money while a hedge fund will be launched with $20m (11.2m). The funds will initially mirror the SVM funds.

Polin says it is looking at an unconstrained, esoteric bond product next. Britannic also wants to recruit more managers to run other boutiques.

Polin says: “It is a question of finding the right people but not all excellent fund managers are well-known. Norris and Russ should have been well-known after their strong performance at Neptune but they only raised 20m there in four years. With us, they have raised 80m in five months. I expect our new UK boutique to go equally as well and we are looking next at esoteric income products.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “Britannic seem to be going for good managers. Barry Norris’s three-month figures at Argonaut are absolutely stonking. Stevenson also has a consistent top-quartile record and losing him will be a bitter blow for SVM.”

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