Liontrust reports inflows despite Q4 volatility

Trading update coincides with Special Situations being dropped from Wealth 50

Fixed income and sustainable products have helped Liontrust Asset Management take in net flows of £471m in Q4 2018 despite market volatility.

In a trading update published on Wednesday morning, the boutique asset manager also reported its net inflows for the nine months to 31 December 2018 were up 59% at £1.19bn from £749m in the same period for 2017.

Assets under management (AUM) still fell from £12bn to £11.2bn over Q4 due to market movements.

Jason Hollands, managing director at Tilney, said the trading update was positive in the face of a “very tough market environment of extreme volatility and a marked deterioration in sentiment”.

Wealth 50 hit

Liontrust’s results coincide with an announcement from Hargreaves Lansdown that the £3.9bn Special Situations fund, managed by Anthony Cross (pictured) and Julian Fosh, had been dropped from the revamped Wealth 50.

Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services said: “2018 was not an easy year for asset managers and Liontrust still did well.

“We highly rate Liontrust Special Sits and its long term – and short term – performance is very good. I am sure the fact its not on HL’s new list will have a marginal effect but not a major one.”

The UK All Companies fund accounts for approximately a quarter of Liontrust AUM.

Bonds and sustainability deliver

John Ions, chief executive, said Liontrust has continued to generate strong sales and this has been achieved “despite the challenging environment for equities and bonds in the latter part of 2018”.

Ions credited the inflows to the global fixed income team of David Roberts and Phil Milburn from Kames Capital, Donald Phillips from Baillie Gifford and the sustainable investment team from Alliance Trust Investments.

“This diversification has helped to increase sales in the current financial year and is providing greater stability during volatile markets,” he added.

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