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Asset management roundup: Gresham House buys 'new energy' infrastructure manager

Gresham House, a specialist asset manager partially backed by a UK local government pension scheme, is buying a “new energy” infrastructure manager.

The AIM-listed firm has agreed to buy Hazel Capital for its real assets division. The deal is expected to complete later this year.

Gresham House said it had agreed to provide growth capital through a secured £4.6m (€5.4m) loan to Hazel Capital.

Hazel Capital, founded in 2007 by Ben Guest, advises around £100m of assets primarily through venture capital trusts (VCTs) and enterprise investment schemes (EISs).

The firm has developed or acquired around 300 megawatts of capacity in the UK solar market across 28 projects.

Tony Dalwood, chief executive of Gresham House, said: “We see a substantial growth opportunity in renewables and new energy infrastructure-related assets. Hazel Capital’s success in generating market-leading returns through its VCT and EIS platform within the growth areas of infrastructure related asset management, fits well with our strategy to develop our range of alternative and illiquid investment solutions for long-term investors.”

The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund recently announced it was acquiring a 20% stake in Gresham House, backing a new alternative investment platform aimed at UK public pension funds. 

Pacific Asset Management joins forces with emerging markets manager

Pacific Asset Management is moving into the institutional and wholesale markets by becoming a partner in North of South Capital, a boutique emerging markets equities manager.

By taking a stake in North of South, Pacific Asset Management was “expanding beyond that business towards the institutional and wholesale markets”, the statement added.

North of South Capital was founded in 2004 and based in London. Pacific Asset Management has helped establish several notable UK asset management companies, including Liontrust, River & Mercantile, and Thames River Capital – now part of BMO Global Asset Management after a series of mergers and acquisitions.

Campaign group rejects trade body cost disclosure proposal 

The UK regulator should not adopt any cost disclosure code proposed by the country’s asset management trade body, the Transparency Task Force (TTF) has said.

In an official response to the industry body’s proposal that echoes previous comments expressed by its founder, the TTF said that, as a trade body, the Investment Association (IA) was “fundamentally conflicted” and should not be producing regulation. 

It rejected the idea of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) officially adopting the code. Instead, it should be the regulator that “leads the development of a regulatory framework that mandates for comprehensive cost disclosure, with full industry consultation”.

The FCA has said it would not be bound by industry proposals.

The campaign group said the IA’s proposed code “falls short of the mark” in several ways. For example, it argued that the code was not sufficiently comprehensive, was voluntary, and used terms to describe costs that did not have legally-binding definitions. 

The TTF also argued that the IA’s Independent Advisory Board – which fed into the establishment of the disclosure code – failed to perform adequately. The TTF’s founder Andy Agathangelou is a member of the advisory board, which is chaired by Mark Fawcett, chief investment officer at NEST. 

Earlier this week, the UK’s local government pension scheme announced the launch of a cost transparency code for asset managers that was based on the templates introduced by the IA.

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  • QN-2380

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