Liontrust stalks wounded GAM

Liontrust Asset Management is in talks about acquiring the troubled Swiss investment manager GAM Holdings with a view to combining the groups into a single investment management business.

A merger of the two operations would create a combined business worth €113 billion. 

Liontrust confirmed it had approached GAM after press reports linked the two groups.  

In a statement, LionTrust indicated that the approach was in its early stages.  

“There can be no certainty that this will lead to a formal offer in respect of the proposed acquisition, nor as to the timing or terms of any such offer, and there can be no assurance that, even if agreement is reached, any such proposed acquisition would be completed,” it said. 

GAM is the larger of the two in terms of assets under management, but its involvement with the failed finance group Greensill Capital has led to a collapse in its market value as a business.  

In March 2022, it was fined £9.1 million by the UK’s FCA over failure to manage conflicts of interest related to its former star bond fund manager Tim Haywood. 

These were linked to investments he made in Greensill Capital, with the scandal causing almost CHF 4.4 billion (€4.5 billion) in withdrawals throughout 2022. 

In 2020, the firm was also fined CHF 500,00 (€509,000) by the Swiss regulator for accounting errors regarding its 2016 acquisition of UK fund house Cantab.

The firm has been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 2009 when it separated from the private banking group Julius Baer.  

GAM is currently valued at around CHF117 million (€119 million).

London-listed Liontrust is valued at about €629 million.   

Earlier this week, Liontrust announced net outflows for the first quarter of the year but said pre-tax profits would beat expectations and would be “not less than £86 million”. 

© 2023 funds europe 

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