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Liontrust buys Husselbee's North and hires Paul Kim for multi-asset arm

Liontrust buys Husselbee's North and hires Paul Kim for multi-asset arm

Liontrust has moved into the multi-asset with the acquisition of John Husselbee's North Investment Partners (NIP).

As part of the push into this fast-growing market Liontrust has also hired Paul Kim as a senior fund manager.

Kim was head of multi-manager and fund selection at LV= Asset Management prior to Threadneedle's acquisition of the firm at the end of 2011. Prior to this he played a key role in setting up multi-manager firm Investment Manager Selection alongside Richard Timberlake and Peter O'Conner in 1999. 

Under the structure Husselbee will become head of multi-asset at Liontrust. 

Husselbee (pictured) launched NIP in 2005 after a spell at Henderson Global Investors, where he was responsible for portfolio construction  and fund selection on portfolios worth around £650 million. Before this he served at Rothschild Asset Management, where he launched its portfolio management service.

Liontrust - which said it made ‘a token payment’ to acquire NIP -  has made no secret of its wish to enter the increasingly competitive multi-asset market on the back of the retail distribution review, which has seen advisers turn to these strategies to provide clients with well-diversified investment solutions. 

Liontrust chief executive John Ions told the stockmarket: 'North is attractive because of the opportunity it gives us to be successful in the multi-asset market, John Husselbee’s experience and excellent capability in managing multi-asset portfolios and the focus of the business on providing advisers with access to cost-effective bespoke portfolio management.

Husselbee added: 'Like all smaller businesses, the increasing cost and burden of the regulatory environment makes it harder to offer the first class service we are used to providing our clients.'

'Liontrust has gone from strength to strength over the last three years and has demonstrated a level of professionalism and determination to succeed that fits well with the ethos of North. The service we will be able to provide our clients going forward has been central to our decision to join Liontrust.'

'This is a continuation of our successful strategy of the past three years of attracting the right talent with the right client proposition to continue our growth in assets. We are confident that our marketing and sales capability will enable us to increase significantly the amount of assets managed by the team.'

Husselbee also believes the tie-up with Liontrust should provide as significant boost to the assets he controls. 'The infrastructure at Liontrust will enable me to spend even more time running money rather than managing a business.

'It is very important for us to join a company that is increasing assets under management and has clear plans for how it will continue its expansion in the future.' 

Recent numbers posted on Companies House showed that NIP had invested heavily through 2012 to expand its discretionary model portfolio service, an outlay that has seen its assets in that area swell from around £40 million in January to £100 million today.

Husselbee has expressed confidence that further growth is to come too. ‘Barely a week goes by without someone else making an enquiry,’ he told Wealth Manager. 

The merger complements Liontrust’s existing suite of well regarded equity products, with star managers including the Citywire AA-rated duo of Anthony Cross and Julian Fosh.

It is represents the next leg in the firm's bid to diversify its business.

In February the firm re-entered the fixed income market with the launch of a global strategic bond fund for Michael Mabbutt, having sold its credit business to Avoca Capital in 2011.

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