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Martin Gilbert calls for investor calm as AssetCo unveils £2.8m takeover

Martin Gilbert.
Martin Gilbert.

Financial services heavyweight Martin Gilbert has urged investors not to panic over any volatility on stock markets due to the crisis in Ukraine.

Mr Gilbert, co-founder and former chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, was typically pragmatic about the implications for investment funds and those who save into them.

“Whenever markets are unsettled the key thing  is not to do anything,” he said.

He added: “The best thing is to sit on what you have, and don’t buy or sell.”

The 66-year-old Aberdeen-based entrepreneur was speaking after AssetCo, his latest asset management vehicle, revealed it had swooped to buy an Edinburgh firm in a cash and shares deal worth £2.8 million.

There’s no need for investors to panic, says Martin Gilbert.

Mr Gilbert is part-owner and chairman of AssetCo, which is acquiring Revera Asset Management.

A sum of £1.9m in cash is to paid on completion. The rest of the deal value is in AssetCo shares, which will also be issued on completion.

The takeover needs to be approved by the Financial Conduct Authority and is also conditional on the admission of new shares to trading on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim).

But AssetCo, whose share price was down by 1.66% to £14.60 at the market close, hopes to complete the takeover by the end of May.

We expect Edinburgh to be home to a sizeable and growing proportion of AssetCo’s investment capabilities.”

Campbell Fleming, chief executive, AssetCo.

Revera, which has four full time and one part time employees, is to “work alongside” Saracen Fund Managers.

Saracen is another Edinburgh based asset manager that was acquired by AssetCo last July.

Peter McKellar and Gary Collins, deputy chairman and head of distribution respectively of AssetCo, will join the board of Revera on completion.

Building a business ‘that delivers for investors in the 21st century’

Campbell Fleming, chief executive, AssetCo, said: “Revera is home to a couple of highly regarded and experienced fund managers in Glen Nimmo and Stephen Grant.

“Revera is the next step in our plan to establish an active equity platform as part of our overall strategy to build an asset and wealth management business that delivers for investors in the 21st century.

“The acquisition also demonstrates our commitment to a presence in Scotland, where there is a genuine breadth and depth of talent.

“We expect Edinburgh to be home to a sizeable and growing proportion of AssetCo’s investment capabilities, adding new teams and businesses as opportunities arise.”

Campbell Fleming.

Mr Nimmo, chief executive, Revera, said: “The entire Revera team is excited to be joining the AssetCo stable.

“We have been impressed by its dynamism since the launch of its strategy, and believe the next phase of our development will be accelerated by leveraging its distribution capabilities and working alongside like-minded teams in the Edinburgh operation.

“We are particularly keen to start working alongside our friends of many years, Saracen.”

£118m of assets under management

Revera, founded in 2003, generated turnover of £782,161 and after-tax profits of £63,452 in 2020.

It ended that year with net assets of £548,872 and a net cash balance of £539,135.

The firm’s two investment funds now have around £118m of assets under management.

Mr Gilbert, the co-founder and former chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, owns 8.6% of AssetCo.

He and other investors teamed up to take a 29.8% stake in the business early last year.

Meanwhile, AssetCo’s chairman said he the rest of the board were “still very keen”, despite market instability, to conclude a takeover of US-based River and Mercantile (R&M) Group.

AssetCo’s board agreed terms for an all-share acquisition of R&M at the end of January.

That deal, which is subject to the sale of R&M’s “solutions” division to Schroders, is worth nearly £99m.

Mr Gilbert became deputy chairman of R&M in January 6 last year.

He is also chairman of fast-growing financial technology firm Revolut, and holds the same role at specialist investment company Toscafund, which owns 12.4% of AssetCo.

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