Argonaut Capital founder Barry Norris has assumed full ownership of the specialist European equity manager. Formed as a JV between the Argonaut founders and Britannic Asset Management (later Resolution then Ignis) in 2005, a passive minority stake in Argonaut was retained by SLI after its acquisition of Ignis in 2014. Following completion of the deal, both SLI and Oliver Russ will exit the business.
“This ownership agreement demonstrates my belief in Argonaut and my long term personal commitment to the business, our people and our unitholders,” Norris says. “Our passion and conviction in our investment process and our ability to meet our clients’ needs has been and will continue to be the central driver of Argonaut’s success.”
The agreement provides an opportunity for Argonaut to focus on the fast-growing core of its business, its topperforming European Alpha, pan-European Alpha and Absolute Return franchises – which now constitute >£1.1bn of AUM. Accordingly, Liontrust has agreed to acquire Argonaut’s European Income and Enhanced Income funds, with manager Oliver Russ moving to the group. In addition, Argonaut has further strengthened its corporate governance, with the appointment of Sanlam CEO Jonathan Polin as Chairman.