A spokesperson for Ignis confirmed that negotiations are taking place but was not able to confirm the details although the arrangement is expected to be similar to the one it has with Hexam Partners, the emerging market boutique.
In July this year Hexam took a 65% stake in its joint venture – set up in 2006 – with Ignis, taking full control of its own administration and operations. Ignis retains a 35% share.
Part of the thinking behind the arrangement is that its conclusion will lead to a stronger Argonaut, a European equity house, and a more focused Ignis whose global distribution strategy will be in the hands of former Alliance Bernstein chief executive and chairman Claude Chene when he joins in October.
Chene, and chief executive Chris Samuels will concentrate on the firm’s own core offering under fixed income chief investment officer Chris Fellingham and his equity counterpart Mark Lovett.
To put the business in context, Argonaut accounts for just 1.4% (£1.1bn) of Ignis’ total assets under management of £76bn.