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Rees-Mogg set for £1m golden goodbye as he bows out of boutique

The cabinet minister will reportedly pocket £1 million for his 15% stake in the Somerset Capital Management.

Rees-Mogg set for £1m golden goodbye as he bows out of boutique

Jacob Rees-Mogg looks set to pocket around a £1 million payout after the investment boutique he co-founded,  Somerset Capital Management, reported a profit of £19.5 million.

Although this figure, for the 12 months to the end of March, was down from the  £25.3 million reported the previous year, as emerging markets continued to sell-off, it still ensured a bumper bonus pot for the partnership's members.

The new cabinet minister Rees-Mogg is set to bank £1 million after the profits have been distributed, less than the £1.7 million being taken home by some his colleagues, due to the fact he splits his time with serving as an MP, The Times reports.

After being named leader of the House of Commons in Boris Johnson’s new cabinet last week, Rees-Mogg quit the firm which he co-founded in 2007.

He was previously chief executive until he was elected as the Conservative MP for North East Somerset in 2010.

He established the boutique – which controls around £5.5 billion in assets – alongside its current CEO Dominic Johnson and fund manager Edward Robertson, with the backing of Brexiteer hedge fund manager Crispin Odey, who also contributed £6,000 to Rees Mogg's 2015 re-election campaign.

Dominic hailed the company’s Somerset EM Small Cap Fund as a standout performer, while it Somerset Global EM and its EM Dividend Growth, recovered after underperforming in the second and third quarters.

The small cap fund, led by Mark Asquith, returned 8.8% over the year, compared to a sector average of 1.5%. 

By contrast, its EM Dividend Growth Fund returned 0.7% over the year, compared to the 5.4% sector average.

He said: 'I’ve been pleased by both the resilience of our funds and our retention of assets in what has been a volatile period for EM and EM active managers.

'More than 80% of active EM managers underperformed in 2018, but the Somerset EM Small Cap fund was a standout performer yet again and has now beaten its benchmark in eight out of the last 11 calendar years. 

'While significant macroeconomic headwinds remain for global equity markets, we believe EMs are cheap, unloved and under-owned.'

Somerset’s turnover was down on the £45.6 million recorded last year to £38.8 million, while partners' remuneration before profit share was at £6.7 million, down from the previous £8.9 million.

In 2018, the firm handed out more than £25 million to its 21 members, as its operating profit hit £34 million. It also came under scrutiny for launching two Irish-domiciled funds – a development the firm insisted was not due to Brexit.

Prior to running Somerset, Rees-Mogg spent 14 years at Lloyd George Management – initially in Hong Kong – where he worked alongside Johnson and Robertson and rose to become the manager of the business’s emerging market fund.

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Mark Asquith
Mark Asquith Average Total Return:
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21/25 in Equity - Global Emerging Markets Smaller Companies (Performance over 3 years)
Crispin Odey
Crispin Odey Average Total Return:
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Edward Robertson
Edward Robertson Average Total Return:
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116/256 in Equity - Global Emerging Markets (Performance over 3 years)
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