Gilbert’s AssetCo hires Collins as distribution chief

Gary Collins

Martin Gilbert’s investment firm AssetCo plc announced that ex-Columbia Threadneedle executive Gary Collins will join the business as head of distribution.

“Gary was previously head of distribution at Columbia Threadneedle Investments running both the EMEA and Latin American Distribution strategy and team,” said AssetCo.

“He joined Columbia Threadneedle in 2006 as Head of UK Retail/Wholesale, having previously worked at Merrill Lynch Investment Management.”

Earlier this month, AssetCo announced the acquisition of Edinburgh-based Saracen Fund Managers for £2.75 million, subject to regulatory approval.

The acquisition is expected to complete by the end of September 2021.

Peter McKellar, Deputy Chairman and CEO of AssetCo, said: “Gary is a great addition to the AssetCo team and he will play a key role in developing the overall business.

“He brings a wealth of experience and expertise, with a track record of working closely with clients and delivering results.

“One immediate focus will be to help develop Saracen Fund Managers’ distribution strategy, so as to grow its client base and, over time, expand its product range.”

Collins said: “Joining AssetCo at such an early stage in its growth story is a fantastic opportunity.

“AssetCo’s strategy of investing in, and building, asset and wealth management businesses really appeals.

“The structural changes that are occurring, for example in terms of demographics, fee compression and the search for alpha, provide opportunities for agile businesses, such as AssetCo.

“I’m looking forward to working with the team to meet the needs of existing clients and to introduce new investors.”

In April, AssetCo shareholders approved its plans to appoint Martin Gilbert as chairman and change its business strategy to the development “of an asset and wealth management business.”

AssetCo shareholders last month also approved the appointment of Peter McKellar as chief executive and deputy chairman.

Gilbert is former co-CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) and McKellar is former global head of private markets at SLA.

On March 26, AssetCo said it planned to raise cash “to execute the new strategy of making strategic acquisitions.”