Castlefield sells ACD arm to Thesis Unit Trust Management

Firm to ‘focus on a single core business’


Castlefield Partners has sold Conbrio, the ACD arm of its business, to Thesis Unit Trust Management (Tutman), subject to shareholder approval.

The deal will see Conbrio’s funds join Tutman’s stable of 150 portfolios. The sold funds include Sanford Deland’s Free Spirit and UK Buffettology mandates, as well as Castlefield’s six-strong fund range, comprising the Castlefield Real Return, Sustainable European, Sustainable Portfolio Growth, Sustainable Portfolio Income, Sustainable UK Opportunities and Sustainable UK Smaller Companies funds.

Castlefield said the sale was a “strategic” decision, so it can “focus on a single core business, consisting of its discretionary investment management and advisory businesses”. It will continue to serve as the investment manager for the Castlefield range of funds. All managers of the sold funds will remain at their helms.

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David Tyerman, CEO of Thesis Unit Trust Management, said: “We are delighted to be working with John and his team at Castlefield. We knew very quickly that we had found a great cultural fit, with people who clearly care about their customers.

“Our role is a specialist function which requires expertise and scale. Having achieved that in what we do, we can help our partners focus on what matters to them.”

John Eckersley, founder and chair at Castlefield, said the company has decided to focus primarily on sustainable investment management.

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“The ACD world has changed significantly over recent years with greater regulatory oversight necessitating increased investment of resources,” he explained. “This led us to ask the question, ‘Are we in the ACD business or the business of being an investment manager?’

 “We conducted a thorough due diligence exercise of all ACDs offering an open architecture model ahead of this sale and found that Tutman offered a very close cultural fit to our own. We believe them to be a market-leading, independent ACD specialist and are confident that the transfer of Conbrio to its new owner will be seamless.” 

Founded in 1998, ACD Tutman currently has £22bn in assets under management across 49 fund managers. Conbrio was launched in 2016.

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