F&C replace head of retail business as AUM falls

Asset manager F&C has confirmed that Thames River chief executive Charlie Porter is set to step down next month, with Michael Warren replacing him.

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Following the integration of Thames River and F&C, Warren will head up the group’s retail investment division from 30 September 2012, while Porter will take on a non-executive role.

Warren was formerly investment director at Thames River and has worked in the asset management industry for 29 years.

The change comes as F&C revealed a drop in assets under management (AUM), revenue and profit in the six months to 30 June 2012.

The firm’s AUM is down nearly 2 per cent at £98.2 billion since the start of the year, while revenue has fallen 12 per cent to £120.3 million and underlying pre tax profit is down 7.6 per cent at £21 million compared to the six months to 30 June 2011.

Edward Bramson, executive chairman of F&C put the AUM drop down to withdrawals from funds in Europe and ‘strategic partner assets’, as well as the declining euro to sterling exchange rate.

However, he claimed the cost-reduction programme put in place after a strategic review in 2010 was progressing well, leading to a significant drop in operating expenses and raising the firm’s profit margin from 24 per cent to 26.7 per cent.

Bramson explained that 2012 was a transitional year for the firm, putting in place new business strategies and improving its capital position, and that he expected to report further progress at the end of the year.

Investors have reacted cautiously to the results and executive change and shares in F&C are currently trading down 2.22 per cent at 86.05 at 9.40am.

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