Adam Laird, former head of Northern European ETF strategy at Lyxor, has launched Ards Ventures – a UK consolidator dedicated to asset management.
Laird left Lyxor in December 2019 after three years in order to "change the asset management industry" but details of his new venture were not disclosed until today (23 June).
The founder of the firm said consolidation has proven a popular strategy in financial equity, with various consolidators active in the wealth advisory and DB pensions areas of the market.
Given the asset management industry has seen a number of established firms acquiring competitors over recent years, Laird said Ards Ventures will have the freedom to pursue deals across the space as a new entrant.
"Boutique asset managers are the buried treasure of the investment landscape - nimble innovative businesses with excellent potential for growth. But while consolidation is working in wealth and advice, asset managers have been overlooked," he explained.
"Our remit is broad but with a preference for established active fund houses. The market is changing; these firms contend with stiff competition from large rivals, the growth of passive and the post-Covid regime. We can help businesses thrive among this disruption."
Laird said he has already spoken to a number of founders and is "looking for more".
"These owners need help adapting and growing, they want a partner who will preserve their culture and they need a fair deal. That's why we are here - to give them options," he added.
Alongside working at Lyxor, Laird was previously the chair of the Investment Association's ETF committee. Prior to this - and to his time at Lyxor - he spent eight years working at Hargreaves Lansdown as its head of passive investments.