Schroders has pared its stake in fund house Liontrust Asset Management.
The sale of 410,000 shares netted £1.1 million for Schroders, which owns Liontrust through Andrew Brough’s UK Smaller Companies fund, and brought its remaining stake in the firm down to £21.7 million.
Brough (pictured) has been a long-time owner of Liontrust, first buying it in 1999 and taking his holding up as high as 30% of the firm’s share capital in 2009. However, over the past 18 months he has been incrementally taking profit on the position, initially bringing it down from 23% to 19.8% early last year.Other well-known owners of John Ions’ firm – whose investment team includes John Husselbee, Stephen Bailey, Anthony Cross and latest coup Ollie Russ – are Investec Asset Management, Old Mutual Global Investors, BlackRock and Fidelity International.
However, while Liontrust has enjoyed some boosts to business in 2016, such as the capture of Russ from Argonaut and healthy Q2 profits in the face of Brexit headwinds, it has not been a straightforward year.
Liontrust also endured legal troubles in March as former fund manager Eoghan Flanagan’s £10.4 million claim against his former employers ended in a more paltry pay-out of £214,000 and the judge ticking off both parties for ‘truly disgraceful’ behaviour and making ‘extravagant’ and ‘opportunistic’ claims.