Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register to get unlimited access to Citywire’s fund manager database. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

Boston boutique closes after losing SJP mandate

1 Comment
Boston boutique closes after losing SJP mandate

Boston-based fund group Liberty Square Asset Management has confirmed it will close following the withdrawal of a mandate to manage UK equities for St James’s Place.

‘After 15 successful years, the founding partners of Liberty Square Asset Management have decided to wind up operations and return money to investors,’ said partners Peg McGetrick, Tom Niedermeyer and Claire Walton.

Liberty Square co-managed the SJP UK & General Progressive fund, a £1.45 billion mandate, with John Wood of JO Hambro Capital Management. Sources told Wealth Manager this represented almost 90% of Liberty Square’s total assets under management.

Since Liberty Square was appointed to the fund on 1 September 2009, it has returned 52.7% compared with a peer group average of 62.7%.

As a predominantly value investor, Liberty Square acknowledged in its most recent half-yearly report for St James’s Place – in October 2012 – that its style had not been advantageous in current markets. ‘Due to the dominance of sentiment and momentum, value investing has been out of favour in current market conditions,’ wrote McGetrick.

‘Traditional value stocks today have derated to levels which represent multi-decade lows. These are excellent conditions for long-term value investors such as ourselves and we are excited about the opportunities.’

McGetrick noted in particular that she had been building stakes in UK housebuilders since last summer.

St James’s Place has retained Wood on the fund, and split Liberty Square’s former mandate between BlackRock head of equities Luke Chappell and Majedie chief investment officer James de Uphaugh. Both have more of a growth bias.

‘From our initial launch on 1 October 1998 with $20 million and two employees, we built a multi-billion dollar diversified asset management firm,’ Liberty Square’s founding partners added in the letter outlining their plans to wind up.

‘We’ve had a great run and we appreciate all the trust that clients have placed in us and the incredible team of employees that helped us build the firm.’

St James’s Place declined to comment.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
CIO Tapes 2: two warnings and a lot of optimism

CIO Tapes 2: two warnings and a lot of optimism

Our group of leading asset management CIOs see a lot of opportunities – and overseas investors are buying UK too

Play Wealth Manager Retreat 2017: size isn't everything

Wealth Manager Retreat 2017: size isn't everything

We asked our delegates at the Wealth Manager Retreat what they think about the recent wave of consolidation in the industry.

1 Comment Play CIO Tapes - part 3: 'passive funds are anti-capitalist'

CIO Tapes - part 3: 'passive funds are anti-capitalist'

Citywire recently gathered three of the UK's leading fund investment heads to discuss their hopes, fears and the issues that their jobs throw at them daily.

Read More
Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: Kleinwort Hambros' boss on how to manage five banks

Profile: Kleinwort Hambros' boss on how to manage five banks

Welding together Kleinwort and Hambros – two of Britain’s most historic banks, founded in 1786 and 1839 respectively – was always going to be a challenge.

Wealth Manager on Twitter