Seneca Investment Managers is attempting to lure industry peers to the negotiating table as the multi-asset fund house gears up for its next acquisition.
Having settled in since replacing Stuart Eaton as CEO in April last year, David Thomas is now ready to unleash his growth strategy for the firm and an acquisition is at the top of the list.
‘We are on a dual track to growth: one is organic, the other is acquisition,’ he said. ‘We want to make it clear that we are open to those who have similar businesses to ours and may wish to engage in corporate discussions.’
Since being established 14 years ago, perhaps the most high profile move by the Liverpool-based investment manager was the purchase of Miton Group subsidiary Miton Capital Partners in 2014.
The deal brought in two open-ended multi-asset funds and one investment trust – CF Seneca Diversified Income fund, CF Seneca Diversified Growth fund and Seneca Global Income & Growth Trust. Two years down the line, Thomas’s vision is set on strengthening his arsenal.
‘We are very open to the prospect of acquiring businesses, and also funds and fund ranges from third parties,’ he said. ‘That said, at the moment we would prefer to buy funds.
‘We have built an investment platform in the form of our investment process, which is now very clearly articulated and our team is second to none. We currently manage around £300 million, but the platform we have built has the capacity to manage a significant multiple of that.’
Having set his next assets under management (AUM) milestone at £500 million – although he ‘wouldn’t want to put a time-scale on that’ – Thomas’s long-term AUM target is £3 billion. This is a capacity which he concedes will eventually necessitate increasing the number of funds at CIO Peter Elston’s disposal.
‘At the moment our primary objective is to grow our existing products,’ he explained. ‘While we don’t have any plans in the short term to launch any products ourselves, we will undoubtedly begin to look at bringing out some new ones in due course.’