Sustainable investment specialist Impax Asset Management has become the latest fund manager to reveal plans to open an office in Ireland to service international clients after Brexit.

In its 2018 year-end report, published today, Impax said that, “to prepare for the Brexit scenarios that appear plausible at the time of writing, we are in advanced discussions with the Central Bank of Ireland to establish a locally-regulated, Irish subsidiary through which some of our EU business may be routed”.

It became the third fund manager this week to unveil plans to open an Irish outpost. US giant Vanguard and equities specialist Merian Global Investors announced similar plans on Tuesday, according to the Financial Times.

Impax said: “Post-Brexit we estimate that less than 10% of our assets under management would be recontracted through this subsidiary.”

The company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, said it believed the operational impact of Brexit on its business would be manageable and the financial impact, including foreign exchange exposure, would be immaterial.

Since the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union, most fund managers operating across both jurisdictions have announced plans to open a subsidiary elsewhere.

Dublin, which for decades has been an operational centre for UK and international fund managers, has been a beneficiary of this move. Due to uncertainty around the passporting of products from outside the European Union and the imposition of third country status on the UK, many fund managers have moved significant operational and investment-focused teams from London and other UK fund centres.  

Luxembourg, a large international fund hub, has also been the choice for several fund managers.

Kempen to close Edinburgh office, relocate small cap funds

Separately, Kempen Capital Management has decided to centralise the management of its small cap investment management strategies in Amsterdam.

As a result, its European small-cap funds and mandates would be transferred from the UK to the Netherlands, Kempen said, and its office in Edinburgh would close.

According to Kempen, by bringing together the Dutch, European and global small-cap teams, it would be able to share existing knowledge and investment processes more effectively.

Lars Dijkstra, Kempen’s chief investment officer, said that “augmenting our proven capabilities at a single location at Kempen will enhance team collaboration, investment decisions and performance for our clients”.

Kempen manages €240m and €221m in its European small-cap fund and its European sustainable small-cap fund, respectively, as well as €329m in global small-caps.

Combined assets of its 13 Netherlands-based small-cap funds amount to €1.2bn.

Kempen said that the relocation would be implemented in December.