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Adam Laird, Ards Ventures

ETF veteran Adam Laird launches active fund management consolidation business

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Adam Laird (pictured), formerly of Lyxor and Hargreaves Lansdown, and ex-ETF chair of The Investment Association, has launched Ards Ventures, a consolidator of actively managed fund managers.

Adam Laird (pictured), formerly of Lyxor and Hargreaves Lansdown, and ex-ETF chair of The Investment Association, has launched Ards Ventures, a consolidator of actively managed fund managers.

Founder Principal Laird says: “I have been involved in passive for a number of years but I knew from my time at Hargreaves Lansdown that there are a lot of very good quality traditional active managers who were struggling to compete in today’s market.”

Armed with a chequebook, Ard Ventures will buy up active managers looking to grow their businesses to scale, using ETFs where appropriate, among other structures.

“I thought that bringing the expertise in the changing landscape as well as the scale benefits of consolidation would be a vehicle for growth,” Laird says.

He observes that the recent climate has been difficult for founder owners to progress their businesses. “Consolidation is a popular strategy in financial private equity: numerous consolidators are active in wealth advisory and DB pensions spaces. Asset managers have seen a number of high-profile deals in the last few years, generally established firms acquiring competitors. As a new entrant, Ards Ventures has a freedom to pursue deals across the asset management space,” he says.

“Boutique asset managers are the buried treasure of the investment landscape – nimble innovative businesses with excellent potential for growth. But while consolidation is working in wealth and advice, asset managers have been overlooked.

“Our remit is broad but with a preference for established active fund houses. The market is changing: these firms contend with stiff competition from large rivals, the growth of passive and the post-Covid regime. We can help businesses thrive amongst this disruption.”

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