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Yearsley warns boutiques could quit enlarged group

Advisers are split over whether Resolution’s investment boutiques will stay with the fund house if the proposed merger with F&C goes ahead.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior investment manager Ben Yearsley says he would be very surprised if the four boutiques stayed with the enlarged group.

He says: “There is bound to be a change of ownership clause in each deal, meaning should the proposed merger of Friends Provident and Resolution take place, they would be able to buy themselves out.”

Yearsley says Resolution chief executive Gavin Stewart and Resolution Asset Management head of sales Jonathan Polin developed the boutique concept and if either of them left as part of the deal, Argonaut, Cartesian, Hexam and the as yet unnamed multi-manager boutique could follow them out the door. He says: “If they go, why would the boutiques stay?”

BestInvest head of communications Justin Modray says F&C has experience of running joint venture businesses and they would form a key part of the combined group. He says any change of ownership of Resolution AM would not affect the boutiques as it only provides back-office, compliance and marketing support to them.

He says: “With some £2bn of assets, the boutiques have created a performance boost for Resolution and with the exception of the multi-manager crossover with Richard Philbin, I see no reason why F&C would not want a part of that.”


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