Gilbert’s AssetCo seeks deals; shares fall amid loss

Martin Gilbert

AssetCo chairman Martin Gilbert said the fund manager continues to seek acquisition opportunities even as the firm reported a loss of £9.2 million for the year to September 30, 2022, driven in part by acquisition reorganisation costs as AssetCo integrated its recently-acquired businesses.

AssetCo shares fell about 13%.

The asset manager reported “considerable progress” in building out its listed equity platform through the acquisition of River and Mercantile Group, Revera Asset Management and SVM Asset Management.

AssetCo’s assets under management (AuM) at September 30 soared to £2.7 billion from £113 million, and post year end reached £3.1 billion including the acquired SVM Asset Management.

Gilbert said: “We continue to seek out potential opportunities for further inorganic expansion in relatively difficult trading conditions for asset management businesses generally. 

“This creates opportunities for the agile AssetCo in its mission to acquire, improve and grow otherwise attractive businesses that are experiencing challenges or whose true value is unrecognised. 

“We are particularly pleased, as an example, with Parmenion and remain strong advocates of this very valuable business, the management team and believe that the client led initiatives as well as industry interest over the past year will deliver significant value for all its stakeholders.

“We are relentlessly focussing on serving our clients, sustaining investment performance, reducing costs, growing revenues and getting the group to profitability as soon as possible whilst being ready to pursue opportunity.”

AssetCo CEO Campbell Fleming said: “Our loss for the year was in part driven by a combination of acquisition costs and reorganisation costs as we right-size and integrate our acquired businesses.

“We are delivering on our acquisitive growth strategy whilst maintaining a focus on reducing costs across the business with a £10m annualised cost saving in River and Mercantile achieved.

“AssetCo has now successfully invested more than £40m in growing the business by completing the acquisitions of River and Mercantile and Revera, taking revenues from less than £0.5m last year to over £8m during the course of the year, with a forward-looking run rate of £17m when the acquisition of SVM is also factored in. 

“We are hugely grateful for the efforts of our investment, client and operations teams as well the continued support from our clients and our shareholders in what was a volatile, difficult and tough year for all.”