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Wealth boss makes dramatic return to sell his boutique

Wealth boss makes dramatic return to sell his boutique

The former chief executive of UK wealth boutique Henderson Rowe, Charles Aram has not only returned to the helm of the company he left three years ago, he has sold it to an Asian funds giant in one of his first acts.

Rayliant Global Advisors has acquired Henderson Rowe for an undisclosed sum, Wealth Manager can reveal.

The company, which has $24.1 billion (£18.3 billion) in assets, is led by Research Affiliates co-founder Jason Hsu. Following the deal, Henderson Rowe, which has $650 million in assets, will operate as an independent subsidiary of Rayliant, and retain its own name and brand.

The acquisition marks Rayliant’s first venture into wealth management, having previously focused on institutional clients. As part of the tie-up, Henderson Rowe’s clients will have access to Rayliant’s quantitative investing expertise and research-driven investment strategies.

Speaking to Wealth Manager Hsu said that he is looking to offer the institutional expertise of Rayliant to private clients who have not had access to it before. 

'We were successful in receiving a meaningful injection of private equity capital into Rayliant and opportunistically, struck up a conversation with Charles, and I think things worked out timing wise,' he added. 

Henderson Rowe and Rayliant have an interesting history. Based in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Rayliant, which focuses on smart beta strategies, was previously called Research Affiliates Global Advisors. Hsu was appointed as chairman and CEO of Rayliant and became the majority owner in 2016, while Research Affiliates retained a minority interest in the company.

Aram (pictured), who set up Henderson Rowe with James Henderson and Giles Rowe in 2002, left the business in 2015, although he retained his shareholding in it and remained a non-executive director. From there, he joined Research Affiliates as head of its Europe, Middle East and Africa business.

Aram returned to Henderson Rowe as chief executive last month, taking over from Rowe, who has now become senior research analyst.

Aram said: ‘Rayliant is a recognised leader in its field, with a history of developing research and institutional quality products to meet long term investor goals. Their expertise will be hugely valuable to our clients and the wider European investment market.’

He added: 'We are certainly looking for more growth in terms of client reach. We want to expand out over time into some of the institutional clients that Rayliant naturally deals with in Asia. Henderson Rowe has a few institutional clients but we would like to expand that.'

Henderson Rowe’s latest accounts published on Companies House show that the company made a pre-tax profit of £905,000 over the year to 30 June 2017, up from £821,000 in 2016. This was on revenue of £6.4 million, up 17.6% year-on-year.


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