Polar Capital has seen pre-tax profits more than double from £20.4m to £41.3m as performance fees reached their highest ever level, while the company is also seeking an office in Paris post-Brexit.
In its full-year results for the year to 31 March 2018, Polar said the increase in profitability was due to a combination of market uplift, fund performance, performance fees, net inflows and investment gains on seed capital.
Net retained performance fees, after deducting the fund managers' shares, amounted to £15.3m compared to just £1.2m the prior year. The firm said performance fees were the highest in its 18-year history.
In the first full-year results since the appointment of Gavin Rochussen as chief executive last July, assets under management increased from £9.3bn to £12bn over the period. Some £1.9bn of this came from inflows, while £800m was attributed to positive market uplift. The group's AUM is currently £13.4bn as at 31 May.
The most popular funds over the period were UK Value Opportunities which saw inflows of £464m, Global Technology which gained £372m and UK Absolute Return, attracting inflows of £337m. These portfolios are managed by George Godber & Georgina Hamilton, Ben Rogoff and Guy Rushton respectively.
The group's Japan funds suffered outflows of £34m but this was "significantly less" than outflows in previous years. The Emerging Markets Income fund also lost £191m in its UCITS fund and mandate.
Earlier this month, the firm indicated it plans to launch an emerging markets range following the hire of a five-strong team.
It has since announced it will launch Emerging Market Stars, Asia Stars and China Stars funds and China Mercury, a long-short fund, and will open a research office in Shanghai.
The first will be the Emerging Market Stars fund which is set to launch on 2 July and can invest across all global emerging markets. It will be a global high-conviction portfolio with 45-60 stocks, identifying emerging market companies that benefit from structural changes such as urbanisation and sustainability.
The group also plans to open an office in Paris through which all European activities, including all European distribution, will be funnelled, as "there remains uncertainty" over Brexit arrangements.
Meanwhile, it was also announced that Tim Woolley, founder of Polar Capital, will step down from the board after 18 years and it will look to replace him with a non-executive director.
Peter Leane, former managing director at BlackRock, has been appointed as head of the Nordics region after a two-year sabbatical. Rochussen said the Nordica was an important region for the firm.
Gavin Rochussen, chief executive of Polar Capital, said: "I would like to thank my predecessor, Tim Woolley, who was not only CEO but also a co-founder of the company. He successfully navigated this niche active fund management boutique through challenging times following the financial crisis and has handed over a sound company with a strong culture and compelling business model.
"It is comforting that the majority of our strategies have performed ahead of benchmark in the more volatile markets experienced in the first quarter of 2018.
"While there remains geopolitical tension and the finalisation of Brexit terms cast a shadow, we are well positioned as fundamental research-driven, active fund managers to find opportunities globally and to continue to deliver above average returns for our clients."
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