Liontrust Asset Management has recruited the European fixed income team from London-based Ilex Asset Management.
The Ilex team moving to Liontrust consists of five partners - Simon Thorp (chief investment officer, pictured), James Sclater (senior portfolio manager), Paul Owens (co-head of research), Quentin Peacock (co-head of research) and Gareth Roblin (chief operating officer).
The team manages the Cayman Islands-domiciled long/short Ilex Credit Fund, which was one of the earliest European credit funds when it was launched in June 2000. Since launch on 1 June 2000 to the end of 2008, the euro share class of the Ilex Credit Fund returned 44 per cent.
Liontrust International (Guernsey) has entered into an agreement with Ilex to acquire the investment management contract for the fund from Ilex. The fund, which was launched to take advantage of the investment opportunities created by the introduction of the euro, has used a consistent investment process for the past nine years. This process will be documented at Liontrust.
Liontrust intends to launch a number of collective investment vehicles that will adopt this process, including further alternative investment funds, authorised unit trusts and offshore funds. In addition, Liontrust will offer the fixed income investment process used by the team to the institutional market via segregated accounts and pooled institutional funds.
'Recruiting Simon Thorp and the team is a key part of our future strategy,' says Nigel Legge, chief executive of Liontrust.
'We have previously stated that our objective is to broaden our product range and expand into new asset classes. Simon's team has vast experience gained at various companies over the years, including Akroyd & Smithers, SG Warburg, Salomon Brothers, NatWest Markets, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and James Capel and has delivered excellent performance through its Ilex Credit Fund.'
Thorp adds: 'Fixed income, and especially credit, will play a larger role in investors' portfolios over the medium term. Corporates and financials will have an ongoing desire for capital/liquidity, which they will access wherever it is available. Debt capital markets have a central part to play in providing that liquidity.'
Thorp is the chief investment officer and founder of Ilex, which he set up in 2000. He gained significant fixed income markets experience while working in a variety of senior trading and management roles such as chief executive at Exco, co-head of global fixed income at NatWest Markets, head of sterling bond trading at Salomon Brothers and trading various fixed income assets at SG Warburg and at Akroyd & Smithers.