Ignis will reduce its equity stake to 40% from 50%, with Argonaut taking overall management control of the remaining 60%.
The official reason is given as enabling Argonaut to grow its £1.1bn in assets under management and “develop as an independent business, under a single brand and with dedicated management”. In due course, the European equity boutique will grow its investment team and management resource and develop its own UK distribution capability.
Ignis will manage its relationship with Argonaut as part of its Ignis Partners team and will continue to distribute its European Alpha, Absolute Return, Income and Enhanced Income funds on the continent.
This business relationship between Ignis and Argonaut is similar to the one between Ignis and emerging market specialist Hexam, another former joint venture. It has learned several lessons from the earlier split, Argonaut will soon be naming a chief operating officer to oversee the day-to-day operations while Barry Norris and Olly Russ can concentrate on running the funds and looking after their clients.
The transition itself will be completed over the course of the coming 12 months.