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Team profile: Thames River Capital looks to the future

Thames River has come a long way since its inception in 1998 when chief executive Charlie Porter founded the business with Jonathan Hughes-Morgan, Michael Mabbutt and Bernt Tallaksen as an absolute returns focused boutique.

 

Thames River has come a long way since its inception in 1998 when chief executive Charlie Porter founded the business with Jonathan Hughes-Morgan, Michael Mabbutt and Bernt Tallaksen as an absolute returns focused boutique.

This year alone the group has seen gross inflows of $3.8 billion (£1.9 billion). It has also launched a long-only multi-manager operation for newly hired Gary Potter and Robert Burdett and has seen its hedge fund of funds business burgeon under Ken Kinsey-Quick, with two recent successful C-share issues.

Two new European funds have also just been launched for Gavin Corr, who was poached from BlackRock MLIM earlier in the year, under Thames River’s subsidiary limited liability partnership, Nevsky Capital.

With total assets under management now running to $11.9 billion and a payroll of 148 people, the focus remains firmly on the investment professionals who still account for over half of all staff.

Investment director Mike Warren, who joined the boutique at the start of the year to drive sales and marketing, says: ‘When you walk in the door you can smell the boutique culture. The first thing we think of in the morning is investment and there are 80 people thinking about stocks, bonds and equities.’

The lack of bureaucracy at the Berkeley Square-based boutique clearly appeals to Warren who found his previous roles at larger firms would often divert him away from looking after the day-to-day business.

Warren describes his arrival at the same time as Credit Suisse’s multi-manager heads Potter and Burdett as a ‘happy coincidence.’

Attracting the five-strong team was a coup for the boutique and establishing the team, which opened for business in October, has been a priority for Warren.

Chief executive Charlie Porter says: ‘The Gary and Rob campaign has worked well so far as our brand has not been that well known in the retail market. In the first month we have seen money coming in every day but multi-manager is a slow burn and the acid test will be whether we are still seeing daily deals in February and March.’

Porter is clearly proud of attracting well-known names to Thames River and describes his role at the group as similar to an ‘overpaid nanny.’

‘I remove all the rubbish our fund managers don’t want to deal with,’ he says.
Other recent high profile captures include Bill Muysken, former head of pensions and financials at Mercer Investment Consulting to the fund of hedge funds team.

Porter says: ‘Every year I set out five or six things I want to achieve, but the first one is always to maintain the culture.’

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