Guernsey asset manager increases market share with Jersey acquisition

13 March 2018

Guernsey-based asset management group MitonOptimal International has expanded across the Channel Islands with the acquisition of Jersey-based Orchard Wealth Management.

The acquisition, which has already been approved by regulators, is the fifth in a series of takeovers that began in 2016, and is expected to be ‘the last for at least a while’, according to Shaun McDade, Managing Director of MitonOptimal’s Guernsey office and head of the company’s international portfolio management operations.

It gives MitonOptimal a presence in all three UK Crown Dependency territories for the first time.

The immediate impact for MitonOptimal is adding the £66m invested in the Orchard Wealth Fund to MitonOptimal Group AUM – MO International Ltd is its Guernsey-based holding company - lifting the total to approximately £880 million at current exchange rates.

As the team in Guernsey has responsibility for a number of group-wide functions such as fund research and marketing, MitonOptimal will be adding to the work it already does for its offices in other offshore jurisdictions.

Mr McDade said the acquisition was essential in order to grow MitonOptimal’s share of a competitive market.

“Though we have an established client base in Jersey and our business development guys visit the island on a regular basis, there has been a long-held intention to have a physical presence and provide a ‘full service’ discretionary fund management offering in Jersey,” McDade added. “Having originally encountered Richard Harwood [Orchard Co-Founder and now Managing Director of the MitonOptimal Jersey office] as an investor in the Orchard Wealth fund, our discussions soon moved on to the potential attractions and mutual benefits of a tie-up between our two firms and our acquisition is the outcome of those discussions.

“Establishing an office in Jersey is a logical step in – and for the time being, conclusion to – an expansion plan that has seen four other acquisitions, in the UK and Isle of Man during the past three years.”

Under the deal, the Orchard’s flagship global equity income fund, which will continue to be run out of Dublin, but which will be rebranded as a MitonOptimal entity.

MitonOptimal’s new discretionary fund management operations will take place in Jersey, in the facilities formerly occupied by Orchard, and all the members of Orchard’s existing staff will become part of the MitonOptimal Jersey team, to complement the 10 employed in Guernsey.