Asset manager Liontrust has hired Claude Ewen (pictured) as international sales director from Columbia Threadneedle where he had led on the distribution of responsible investment strategies across the continent.
Prior to that, Ewen was senior sales manager at Fidelity Worldwide Investment and worked as a fund manager for Lux-Investment Advisors and Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat.
James Beddall, head of international sales at Liontrust, said: “I have known Claude for a long time and have always been impressed by his ability, focus and dedication. Claude’s extensive knowledge of the European marketplace, and of responsible investments, will help to develop sales in these core markets for all our strategies including the Sustainable Investment team.”
Over the past few years Liontrust has been developing its distribution across Europe and now has a sales team of six, two people in client services, and 15 funds across two Irish-domiciled ranges. All core strategies are registered for sale, and are tax transparent, in Germany and Austria. Distribution partnerships in Europe include ABN Amro, SEB, and Lombard Odier.
It is probably good time for Liontrust to be expanding, given that multiple reports in recent weeks have said that the firm has seen its profits and revenues take off, despite flows decreasing.
According to the firm’s most-recent results, up to the end of March, its assets under management and advice were up 8.5% from the end of Q1 2021, mostly through its acquisition of Majedie Asset Management. That acquisition was finalised at the end of April.
However, it also reported that it had made a gross profit of £231m, up 41% between 2020 and 2021. That is probably something of a relief to the firm, given that it suspended its Liontrust Russia Fund back at the end of February, saying that investors were no longer able to make purchases or redemptions in the fund until further notice.
A month later, the firm said it was waiving charges and fees on the same fund, backdating it all to 1 March 2022.
It said in a statement at the time: “Liontrust decided that suspending dealing on 28 February 2022 was in the best interests of all shareholders given the closure of the Moscow stock exchange and the ban on foreign investors trading in local Russian securities that has prevented the fund from trading normally in its underlying investments. The suspension was made with the agreement of the fund’s depositary.”