Polar Capital saw net inflows of £820 million in the six months to the end of September, helping pre-tax profits rise 39% to £11.8 million.
The group’s total AUM surged to £11.4 billion, buoyed by an additional £510 million market and fund performance uplift. Within that Polar’s Automation and Artificial Intelligence fund, launched in October, had attracted £156 million by the end of November, while Georgina Hamilton and George Godber’s UK Value Opportunities fund, launched in February, had £330 million of assets by the end of November.
Polar’s UK Absolute Return fund was the biggest asset winner, pulling in £173 million, while its technology franchise attracted £170 million. The healthcare team saw net inflows of £164 million, while global insurance received £109 million. Japan remained the biggest detractor with outflows of £82 million, although this was down from £352 million in the preceding six months due to improved performance.
The firm reported that net performance fees accrued in its funds at the end of September totalled £9.6 million, up from £1.2 million at the end of March, although it cautioned that these do not crystallise until the end of the year.
Chief executive Gavin Rochussen (pictured) said: ‘While the ethos and philosophy of Polar will not change, there will be a strategic focus on diversification of fund strategies, client segments and client geography. We continue to search for top performing investment talent to manage funds that will complement the existing strategies.
‘The outlook for the company for the remainder of the financial year is encouraging with continued momentum in flows and fund performance in the months following the reporting period.’
In a separate announcement, Polar has said it will bear the cost of external research following the implementation of Mifid II in January.
Rochussen said: 'We have undertaken a lengthy and detailed consultation process both internally and externally. As a result of that process, Polar Capital will absorb the cost of all written waterfront research.
'As a specialist active manager, certain of our strategies also rely on very specialised research that can be critical in helping our managers deliver alpha. Polar Capital is in late stage discussions with these funds to pay or contribute to such costs.'
The group added that as part of the strategic review Rochussen has carried out following his appointment, it has decided to close its Global Alpha, European Conviction and Emerging Markets Growth funds. It said the closures will take place after the end of the reporting period and will not have a material impact on AUM.