Assetco has made a public show of support for its latest takeover target River and Mercantile following the loss of one of its biggest heavy hitters, Dan Hanbury.
River and Mercantile alerted markets on Tuesday that founding partner and UK equities manager Hanbury had resigned.
His departure deals a massive blow to the business, creating uncertainty for one of its most popular funds, just weeks after it was acquired by Martin Gilbert’s (pictured) new venture, Assetco.
Hanbury managed around £790m in assets for River and Mercantile across its UK Equity Smaller Companies and UK Equity Income funds. The former is the largest in its stable at £674m and among the top performers in the IA UK Smaller Companies sector, returning 56.2% over three years versus peers’ 43.6% gains. R&M UK Equity Income, which sits at £116m, has returned 17.2% compared to the 19.1% IA UK Equity Income average over the same timeframe.
Following the RNS filing, Assetco issued its own statement in support of River and Mercantile.
“Asset management is a people business and individuals leaving and joining organisations is a regular occurrence,” a spokesperson for the company said.
“We have confidence in the senior executives and the investment management team at River and Mercantile to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities and to continue to deliver for investors. We continue to work towards acquiring River and Mercantile with the approval of shareholders and regulators.”
Hanbury’s UK smaller companies fund will be handed off to George Esnor, who manages the R&M UK Micro Cap Investment Company.
River and Mercantile did not say who would take the reins of his UK equity income mandate.