The Citywire A-rated duo has used inflows into its range to buy an additional 25,000 shares in the wealth management firm, increasing its overall stake in the firm to 877,945 shares, representing an 8.1% stake. They have been gradually increasing their position in the stock over the last two months,
The interest is controlled through the pair's Liontrust UK Growth fund, Liontrust UK Smaller Companies fund and the Liontrust Special Situations fund, which was the top performing UK All Companies fund in 2011 and has recently been added to Citywire Selection's top funds list.
Cross has been a long-term backer of Liontrust, claiming he was the first person to see the firm on its float in 2006. He was compelled to buy shares at that point at price of £1.50. They closed at £11.15 yesterday, underlining just how profitable the trade has been over the years, although the market volatility has left it sitting well below its 12-month high of £13.75.
Brooks is one of two wealth managers Cross and Fosh own in their portfolios, the other being Hargreaves Lansdown, which accounts for around 1% of their funds.
Cross is confident Brooks is well-placed to meet the growing pressures facing wealth firms. 'We have always been attracted to fee-based managers. One of the things we look for is at least 70% recurring income and Brooks has this,' Cross says.
He is also a big fan of the management team at Brooks. 'They [Brooks] have a very good track record of organising growth and everything I hear about the way the run their offices is very strong. Brooks has strong fundamentals. It deals with customer relationships in a very good way, a strong brand and is rolling out its network. It has been a very profitable investment for us.'
Cross and Fosh are among a host of star small cap managers who own significant stakes in Brooks. According to a shareholder register seen by Wealth Manager dated 12 January, others include Artemis duo Mark Niznik and Derek Stuart, who own 7.1% and 2.23% of the stock respectively through their Artemis UK Smaller Companies and Artemis UK Special Situations funds.