Argonaut restructures as Ignis cuts stake

Argonaut Capital Partners and Ignis Asset Management have agreed to restructure their joint venture with Argonaut taking management control with 60% of the company and Ignis reducing its stake from 50% to 40%.

The change was foreseen when the joint venture was founded in 2005 and is designed to support the next phase of Argonaut’s growth and development.

“It is very much a part of our strategy to incubate our current joint ventures and then to transition them to an independent model when they reach an appropriate stage so as to best support their development and the services we provide to investors,” said Chris Samuel, Chief Executive of Ignis Asset Management.

Argonaut, a European equity specialist boutique, has £1.1bn of funds under management.

The change will enable the company to develop as an independent business, under a single brand with its own management. Argonaut will expand its investment team and management resources and develop its own UK distribution capability, a joint statement said.

As a major shareholder, Ignis will retain a seat on the board, giving it a say in the future direction of the business, an Ignis spokesman said.

Ignis also will continue to support Argonaut in continental Europe. “In Europe there will be very little change. We will continue to distribute the company’s funds in Europe,” said the spokesman. This was more practical as Ignis has a well established structure in place in Europe.

To facilitate the transition to a standalone business and allow Barry Norris and Olly Russ, Argonaut’s founding partners, to concentrate on investment performance and client service, the company will appoint a chief operating officer who will oversee the transition and manage day-to-day operations.

The transition will be implemented in a “controlled and gradual” manner over the next 12 months.

“We are delighted that we will continue to be supported by Ignis, who have contributed greatly to the development of the business in its joint venture stage and that they will remain a significant and committed shareholder.” Russ.

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