Sentiment changing

Gilbert making progress in AssetCo turnaround

Martin Gilbert
Martin Gilbert: a pivotal six months

Martin Gilbert has reported progress in turning round loss-making AssetCo following measures to cut costs and signs of improving sentiment in the market.

Operating loss for the half year to the end of March was reduced by 65% to £1.6m after adjusting for exceptional items (£1m) and before discontinued operations (£0.5m).

The company said this demonstrates “good progress towards profitability”. The total loss for the period was £3m.

The board is proposing a share split with the introduction of a second class of share designed to reflect the company’s economic interest in Parmenion and a change of name to River Global.

New business flows for the quarter ending 30 June are expected to be positive, being £39m at 27 June.

Completion of the acquisition of Ocean Dial Asset Management added an estimated £0.9m per annum in net new revenue to the group from 2 October.

The board said good progress is being made in consolidating and simplifying the business with all equity investment management activities (ex Ocean Dial) consolidated to River Global Investors.

Mr Gilbert, chairman, said: “The six months to end March 2024 has been a pivotal one in our journey towards profitability and cash generation.

“The work done in simplifying our business by consolidating equity asset management activities and exiting loss making and complex early stage businesses has helped clear a pathway towards profitability which, with continued hard work and effective execution of our cost saving plan, is starting to look eminently achievable.

“There remains a dependency on stable revenues but, in that context, it is particularly pleasing to note a couple of substantive and notable wins in UK equities with, finally, some tentative signs of improvement in market sentiment towards the asset class.

“I am also pleased to confirm that we are in advanced discussions to partner with two organisations to leverage our expertise and infrastructure to mutual benefit. These potential joint ventures are quite different (one working with an established overseas wealth manager and one bringing a leading global fund manager to market) but both would utilise our established infrastructure to facilitate additional growth.

“Assets under management are expected to be significant at an early stage and, while initial revenues to the Group are reduced reflecting the role we play in each case, the additional scale and future opportunities are attractive as is the opportunity to work with high calibre individuals and businesses.

“Continuing revenues for the six months ended 31 March 2024 of £6.9m (31 March 2023 Restated: £7.1m) have held up relatively well in a turbulent period and the business, while still loss-making, has demonstrated real progress towards profitability, making excellent progress in cost cutting since last year.”

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