Outflows hamper Liontrust AUMA growth

Asset manager’s investments performed well, but investor sentiment remained cautious

John Ions, CEO of Liontrust
John Ions


The quarter to 31 December saw Liontrust Asset Management recover some of the losses it sustained in assets under management and advice (AUMA) over 2022, although clients continued to pull money from its strategies.

Overall AUMA grew 3% in the three months to £32.6bn, according to its latest trading update, and this figure has since increased further, hitting £33.8bn as of 16 January.

According to the asset manager’s chief executive, John Ions (pictured), the last quarter of 2022 marked the continuation of the year’s negative investor sentiment, fuelled by the ongoing macroeconomic and geopolitical concerns.

Liontrust was not immune to this trend, he added, citing the net outflows of £632m across the quarter. Only the asset manager’s alternative funds – the area with the lowest proportion of its AUMA – experienced positive net flows, with clients adding £3m.

Over the group’s financial year, to 31 December 2022, investors pulled a net £2.8bn. AUMA were, however, buoyed by the £1.6bn added by investment and market performance across the final quarter. Some £1.3bn of these gains were contributed by Liontrust’s largest pool of assets, its retail funds and model portfolio service.

The firm’s investment trusts performed well, meanwhile, adding £114m from market movements, while experiencing £10m of net outflows.

Total AUMA are now greater than at the beginning of Liontrust’s financial year, in April, when they stood at £33.5bn, but assets are still down on their levels towards the end of 2021.

Strategic objective

Ions said: “We are focused on achieving our strategic objective of broadening distribution by channel, geography and fund, and engaging with and providing a first-class service for clients. Along with delivering strong long-term performance by applying robust investment processes, these are key to ensuring the future growth of the business.

“We are focused on what we can control, including extensive and continuous communication and engagement with our clients, both face-to-face and through our growing digital activity.”

He added: “The challenges of the past year have created further opportunities for financially robust asset managers with strong distribution and brands. The quality of Liontrust’s fund management processes and teams, client service, sales and marketing give me great confidence that we can take advantage of these opportunities.”

Liontrust’s share price has halved since early September 2021 – although it has rebounded by 33% over the last six months – to £12.06 as of 18 January.

The firm’s share-price performance over the last year has suffered somewhat in the wake of its acquisition of Majedie Asset Management, the costs of which dealt a blow to Liontrust’s profits.

See Also: Liontrust stake weighs on Majedie Trust’s performance

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