Liontrust: The IFAs’ view
A panel of industry experts explain where they think the group’s strengths and weaknesses lie.
Mark Dampier, head of research at Hargreaves Lansdown
"Liontrust is the phoenix that has risen from the ashes. It seemed it might not be viable after key managers left and outflows were strong. It was too reliant on a couple of managers, which I always think is dangerous."
"I thought throughout that Anthony Cross was the standout manager but never got the limelight. We use his UK Smaller Companies
fund. He’s not a trader, which I like; he’s a low turnover manager."
"We have used the Walker Crips Equity Income
fund too and Liontrust has kept the managers since buying the company. How will they incorporate it? Why would you want two income funds? We’ll have to see how that works out, maybe they will merge. There’s probably a lot of consolidation to go."
Ben Willis, investment manager at Whitechurch Securities
"Liontrust has done a good job of rebuilding. It had some dark periods a few years ago when two key founders left and funds were doing badly so its reputation was a bit tarnished."
"It has cut out most of the dead wood and grown the business. It got a good deal on the acquisition of Walker Crips, which has a good UK Equity fund in CF Walker Crips Equity Income."
and Gary West
are very good on Europe. It has Anthony Cross who has done really well on the UK side and then it has just brought in an Asian Equity fund, although time will tell with that one as it has some stiff competition with Newton Asian Income
being the go-to choice for most."
Patrick Connolly, head of communications, AWD Chase de Vere
"Liontrust came into prominence recently as a result of good performance when others were doing badly. The one concern we have is the lack of resources in terms of research and back-up for the managers. On the one hand that can be good, because the managers have a lot of freedom, but on the other hand we would be more confident if they had that back-up."
"We are looking for funds which have a repeatable investment process which we can see in action, at the moment we think Liontrust doesn’t have that and there are other funds which do."
"They have come to prominence because of short-term performance but we would want to see that performance in the longer term and have a better understanding of the investment process. It’s not to say that we wouldn’t use them in the future, but right now we don’t."
Kerry Nelson, director of Nexus IFA
"I like the idea of the coming together of the great and the good in the industry to work there. Those guys have got great experience. I have always favoured boutiques because of their ability to be more nimble and let managers get on and do what they want to do."
"At the moment we only use its Special Situations
fund, but that’s not because we don’t rate the others, but because there are just better-performing funds in their sectors. Right now it’s a case of letting the dust settle after the changes at the firm and seeing what happens. The guys who are there are the right guys."