Argonaut refocuses business with sale of funds to Liontrust

Deal1UK-based specialist fund manager Liontrust is purchasing the European income business of Argonaut Capital Partners as Barry Norris takes full ownership of the latter firm.

According to a source close to the matter, Norris had been in negotiations with Liontrust for some time on the sale of both the European Income and European Enhanced Income funds.

Olly Russ, who manages both funds, will also move to Liontrust to continue the management of both funds, which have combined assets under management (AuM) of £298 million (€370 million).

According to Morningstar, the price Liontrust paid for the funds was the equivalent of 1.5% of the AuM, or £4.5 million.

The source added that the deal was completely amicable and allows Norris to focus his business on his own funds. These include the European Alpha Fund, the Pan-European Alpha Fund and his Absolute Return Fund. These funds AuM are £400 million, £140 million and £421 million respectively.

Argonaut’s total AuM is £1.1 billion as it includes separate mandates that add £161 million to the assets held in the above funds. Argonaut has also scored a coup with the appointment of Sanlam’s chief executive officer Jonathan Polin as chairman of Argonaut. Polin played an instrumental role in founding Argonaut alongside Norris while at Britannic.

Liontrust has AuM of £4.8 billion as of March 31, this year. The additional assets brought by the purchase of Argonaut’s funds should be included into the firm’s assets by June this year. The purchase is part of Liontrust’s move to bolster its existing range of equity income funds that already include its Macro Equity Income, Asia Income and Global Income funds.

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