Home Hedge Funds Investment manager Lansdowne Partners to buy $1.1 bln CRUX Asset Management –...

Investment manager Lansdowne Partners to buy $1.1 bln CRUX Asset Management – investor letter


LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) – London-based investment manager Lansdowne Partners LLP said on Wednesday it had agreed to acquire the $1.1 billion UK equities manager CRUX Asset Management, subject to regulatory approval, according to an investor letter seen by Reuters.

Lansdowne’s purchase, the value of which remains undisclosed, serves as a succession plan for CRUX’s founder, Richard Pease who will retire when the deal is completed, the letter said.

Both firms actively invest in global stocks with a range of different strategies including some open to retail investors.

Lansdowne, which manages $7 billion worth of assets, will take all of the funds currently managed by CRUX, while CRUX employees and management will remain in their current positions, the letter added.

It also noted that Daniel Avigad, who runs the Lansdowne European investment team, will oversee the three CRUX European funds formerly managed by Pease.

Avigad and Pease have known each other for a long time and their complementary investing styles made a good match as Pease retires, said one source familiar with the deal.

Avigad is a “natural successor” for CRUX’s special situations fund which invests in undervalued companies and its European stock funds, said Pease in a statement seen by Reuters.

“I am confident there is no better home for our clients and staff to thrive,” said Pease.

Avigad joined Lansdowne in 2006 and looks after its long-only European stock strategies, including one Ucits fund.

Ucits — an EU directive called Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities — allows financial institutions to sell funds into any European Union country after approval from a single member state.

Usually bought by retail clients, they largely invest in equities and money market assets while non-Ucits are bought by larger institutions.

Lansdowne, known as one of Britain’s oldest hedge funds, has experienced a turnaround since July 2020, when it closed its $2.8 billion long-short hedge fund strategy, after losses of 23% in the January-June period.

A year later it appointed former HSBC banker Brian Heyworth as co-managing partner to work alongside the firm’s CEO, Suzi Nutton to lead strategic development at the firm.

Since then, the investment manager has steered to a more traditional asset management approach mostly buying stock, rather than selling it. Lansdowne’s developed markets long only $4.55 billon fund managed by Peter Davies was up 14% for the year to the end of April.

The firm has kept its hedge fund strategy, Princay Fund, launched in April 2015 which concentrates on a smaller number of European stocks and can be up to 20% net short.

Boutique investment bank, Stephens, and law firm, Proskauer Rose advised CRUX, said a source familiar with the matter. Lansdowne advisors used an in house team to manage the transaction and lawfirm, Simmons & Simmons, said the source.

Stephens is also a shareholder of CRUX and will roll its holdings into Lansdowne, remaining a passive minority owner with no board representation or involvement in the management of the business, said the source.

U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley still has a stake in Lansdowne.

Reporting by Nell Mackenzie; editing by Dhara Ranasinghe and David Evans

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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