Argonaut Capital’s profit took a 76% hit as the company’s assets fell by over £500 million as it streamlined the business and bought out part owner Standard Life. It also proved a difficult year for performance in 2016.
The specialist European equity asset manager’s AUM fell from £1.2 billion to £473 million over the year to June 2017, according to the company’s latest set of results.
Meanwhile, profit fell from £7.6 million to £1.8 million year-on-year, due to the reduction of revenue received from management and performance fees.
Over the year, the company recorded revenue of £4.7 million from management fees, a drop of 60.7% year-on-year from £12 million.
Argonaut did receive an injection of £4.08 million from Liontrust after selling two of its mandates, the Argonaut European Income and European Enhanced Income funds, in a move that saw managers Oliver Russ and Oisin O’Leary move over. At the time of the acquisition in July 2016, the funds’ AUM was £272 million.
Norris bought out Standard Life in June 2016 to assume full ownership of the company. Standard Life had acquired the holding when it bought Ignis Asset Management, with which Norris had originally launched Argonaut as a joint venture.
Poor fund performance was also a detractor as the company generated no performance fees compared to £2.5 million the previous year.
Founder and chief executive Barry Norris’ flagship European Alpha fund returned -0.1% in 2016, which was its worst ever year of performance. This compared to a peer group average of 16.8%. However, over one year it has bounced back and is up 8% versus the sector average of 5.8%.
Despite the drop in profit, the firm’s highest paid member took home just over £3 million.