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Ignis to reduce stake in Argonaut

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Argonaut Capital Partners and Ignis Asset Management have restructured their joint venture in a bid to support the next phase of the firm’s growth and development.

Argonaut, a European equity specialist boutique, was founded six years ago in 2005 and currently has GBP1.1 billion of funds under management. The company offers market leading European Alpha and Equity Income products1 to UK and European investors.
 
Argonaut Capital Partners will take management control, owning 60% under the new structure with Ignis reducing its equity stake from 50% to 40%. This will enable Argonaut to develop as an independent business, under a single brand and with dedicated management. Argonaut will expand its investment team and management resource and develop its own UK distribution capability. Ignis will continue to distribute Argonaut’s funds in Continental Europe.
 
To facilitate the transition to a standalone business, and to enable Barry Norris and Olly Russ, Argonaut’s founding partners, to remain focused on investment performance and client service, the company will be announcing the appointment of a Chief Operating Officer who will oversee the transition and manage the day-to-day operational functions. The transition will be implemented in a controlled manner over the course of the next 12 months.
 
Ignis’ interest in Argonaut will form part of Ignis Partners, an Ignis Business Unit established in 2010 to hold, support and develop its boutique investments. Ignis Partners also holds investments in Hexam, the emerging markets boutique, which transitioned to a similar structure in July 2010 and Castle Hill Asset Management, the specialist credit investment manager, which was established along equivalent lines when the business was launched in January 2010. Ignis Partners also holds a 50% equity stake in Cartesian, which Ignis remains committed to supporting and developing.
 
Barry Norris (pictured), Partner, Argonaut Capital Partners, says: “We believe that this evolution of our business model from a joint venture to an independent entity is appropriate to Argonaut’s current stage of development. We look forward to making further announcements in due course.”
 
Chris Samuel, Chief Executive of Ignis Asset Management, says: “We are pleased to have agreed these exciting plans for the next stage of Argonaut’s growth. 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.”
 
Olly Russ, Partner, Argonaut Capital Partners, says: “Barry and I intend to develop Argonaut’s capabilities within our core European equity franchise, which we believe will be good for our investors. 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 as we become an independent Argonaut.”

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