Martin Gilbert’s AssetCo expects more deals soon

Martin Gilbert

Martin Gilbert’s investment firm AssetCo plc said on Monday it expects to “announce further activity” soon as it targets asset management deals.

AssetCo said it has been “examining a number of organic and inorganic proposals and is at various stages of discussion and negotiation.”

Gilbert is the former co-CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA).

The news on potential deals came as AssetCo, which bought Edinburgh-based Saracen Fund Managers last month, announced results for the six months ended March 31, 2021.

“The six months ended 31 March 2021 started with the successful conclusion of the Grant Thornton litigation and the receipt of the remaining litigation award and costs,” said Gilbert, chairman of AssetCo.

“This resulted in AssetCo having accumulated cash balances of approximately £57.8 million.

“This formed the basis for returning £26.9 million to shareholders, by way of a tender offer, and for the balance of £30.9 million to provide the initial resources for the company’s new asset and wealth management strategy …

“Following the change in the company’s strategy to ‘acquiring, managing and operating asset and wealth management activities and interests, together with other related services’, the management team has been examining a number of organic and inorganic proposals and is at various stages of discussion and negotiation.

“The focus of this work is on areas of the asset and wealth management sector where the board believes that, due to the structural changes impacting the sector, attractive opportunities for investment exist.

“The board is hopeful of being able to announce further activity in the short term.”

Gilbert added: “Our new business strategy, approved by shareholders in April, is to invest in, build and operate asset and wealth management businesses.

“The financial services sector is facing numerous challenges, but the importance of the industry in enabling clients and customers to achieve their financial goals is even greater.

“We believe AssetCo can play a key role by investing in, supporting and developing businesses to meet the needs of investors.

“Our investment in River and Mercantile Group and our conditional acquisition of Saracen Fund Managers are part of this thinking.

“Over the coming months we hope to announce further activity as we roll out AssetCo’s strategy and build the business.”