Martin Gilbert’s AssetCo acquires another Edinburgh-based boutique

News Team, 21/06/2022

AssetCo, the investment and wealth management company launched by Martin Gilbert, is to acquire Edinburgh-based SVM Asset Management for a total consideration of around £10.7 million.

Founded in 1990 by Colin McLean and Margaret Lawson, who, together with a family trust, are the significant majority owners, SVM currently has around £586 million of assets under management (AuM).

These include five open-end funds: UK Growth, UK Opportunities, Continental Europe, All Europe SRI and World Equity.

It also manages SVM UK Emerging Fund plc, a £6.8 million investment trust listed on the London Stock Exchange.

SVM generated turnover of £4.3 million and pre-tax profits of £2.0 million for the year to 31 December 2021 and had net assets of £14.0 million.

Following a restructuring that is currently being undertaken by SVM it is expected that, at completion, SVM will have net assets and net cash reserves of approximately £4 million each.

On completion of the acquisition Mr McLean, who is SVM’s managing director and chief investment officer of SVM, will become a director of AssetCo’s Scottish business.

Ms Lawson, who is UK investment director at SVM, will continue to manage UK equity portfolios, as will Neil Veitch, Global and UK investment director, and Hugh Cuthbert, European investment manager.

SVM’s existing 21 employees will continue to be employed by SVM.

AssetCo says that, given the strong investment performance delivered by SVM’s fund managers, there are significant opportunities to enhance the distribution and marketing of SVM’s existing funds and, over time, to broaden the product offering.

The SVM funds will also complement the existing listed equity fund strategies offered by AssetCo’s various businesses, most notably those offered by River and Mercantile Asset Management.

Following completion AssetCo will have approximately £3.5 billion of AuM in listed equity fund strategies across its various businesses.

SVM will also spearhead AssetCo’s plans to have a significant asset management hub in Edinburgh, which already includes Saracen Fund Managers and Revera Asset Management.

The three businesses have over £800 million of AuM.

All three businesses will retain their distinct active equity investment philosophies and client profiles.

“We are immensely proud to be building an asset management hub in Edinburgh that, over time, will broaden its client base across the UK and beyond,” said Mr Gilbert in a statement.

“SVM is a well-regarded fund management firm, with a recognised investment style and a very strong investment track record. Its business model, people and product offering are its key assets, and it is core to AssetCo’s ambitions.

“I have known Colin and Margaret for over 30 years, and I am delighted that both have agreed to remain with SVM. Both have built phenomenal reputations as investment managers over many decades in the industry. The experience and expertise they will bring to AssetCo will be invaluable.”

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