By David Thorpe
Miton Group and Premier Asset Management have agreed to merge, creating a fund house managing £11.5bn.
The combined company - which will be called Premier Miton - would have been the fifth largest net seller of retail funds in the UK market in 2018, according to Premier, citing data from the Pridham Report.
In its most recent set of results, released at the start of July, Premier reported that its assets under management dropped by £100m to £6.7bn in the year to the end of June 2019, which it attributed to "challenging market conditions."
Miton reported increased assets under management of £4.7bn for the six months to the end of June 2019, driven primarily by positive market movements.
Shareholders of Premier, which listed on the Alternative Investment Market in 2016, will own 66 per cent of the combined company, with Miton shareholders owning the remainder.
Mike O’Shea, who is chief executive of Premier, will run the combined business, with Miton chief executive David Barron becoming a non-executive director. The combined company will be chaired by Mike Vogel, the Premier chairman.
Mr O’Shea said: "This merger will bring together two complementary and culturally-aligned businesses. Both are focused on delivering added value for clients through actively-managed, strongly-performing and relevant investment products.
"The combined group will create a company with greater scale and financial strength to invest for future growth, with broader and deeper investment capabilities, enhanced distribution and a more efficient operating platform.
"Ultimately, this should position us well for continued growth and deliver value for clients, shareholders and employees."
The deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, and FTAdviser understands there will be no discussion about personnel until those approvals have been received.
Premier Miton will keep its offices in Guildford, which are the current headquarters of Premier, and at St Paul’s in London, which is Miton Group’s headquarters, will remain open after the deal is completed.
Gervais Williams, senior independent director of Miton and manager of the £1.1bn Miton Multi Cap Income fund, said: "I am excited at the prospect of combining the talent of our two highly client-focused, active managed investment companies and leading the equity teams going forward.
"We will offer a combination of high conviction, actively-managed equity and fixed income funds and a market-leading range of outcome-focused multi-asset funds for our clients. Our unified investment capabilities mean we will be well positioned to help our clients as they navigate an uncertain political and economic environment."
Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services, said: “This makes sense in a lot of ways, the two businesses are quite complementary. Premier is very well established with the independent financial adviser market, particularly with its multi-asset funds, whereas Miton is very well known in the City.
"They don’t have many products that overlap, when I think of Miton I think of the US and European equity funds, and the funds run by Gervais Williams, while at Premier we own the Global Infrastructure fund, and the multi-asset funds are well known.
"I think asset management mergers are generally driven by regulatory challenges, including Mifid, and technology challenges. The combined group will be a nice size."
The merger is expected to complete in the final quarter of 2019.