Margaret Lawson retires from SVM Asset Management

Margaret Lawson

Margaret Lawson, a co-founder of Edinburgh’s SVM Asset Management, is to retire.

London’s mutual fund trade press reported that her husband Colin McLean, also a co-founder of the firm, has stepped back from most day-to-day fund management duties and remains an executive director.

Martin Gilbert’s AssetCo agreed to acquire SVM in June 2022.

In December 2022, AssetCo announced plans to bring together its four active equity asset management subsidiaries under its River and Mercantile brand.

SVM was founded in 1990 by Lawson and McLean. When the AssetCo deal was announced, SVM had around £586 million of assets under management, including five open-end funds: UK Growth, UK Opportunities, Continental Europe, All Europe SRI and World Equity.

SVM also managed SVM UK Emerging Fund plc, an investment trust.

Neil Veitch has assumed the role of lead fund manager on the SVM UK Growth Fund as Lawson retires following 33 years of service.

Veitch has managed the SVM UK Opportunities Fund since 2006 and he was appointed as alternate fund manager on the SVM UK Growth Fund alongside Lawson earlier this year.

He has worked closely with Lawson for the last 17 years as part of SVM’s UK equity team.

Prior to co-founding SVM in 1990, Lawson was an investment manager at FS Assurance, running its flagship UK fund, the FS Balanced Growth Fund.

River and Mercantile CEO Alex Hoctor-Duncan said: “Margaret carved out a name for herself over many years in the asset management industry and we want to thank her for her unstinting work and her devotion to the company.

“Margaret carefully planned her departure and she felt it was the right time to pass on her responsibilities as the company moves to a new phase in its growth, aligning SVM, Saracen Fund Managers and River and Mercantile under the one River and Mercantile banner.

“Neil Veitch is the natural and obvious successor and he will now lead the fund with the support of the wider investment team.

“We wish Margaret all the best in her future endeavours.”