The acquisition is part of Albion’s strategy to diversify its investment management activities beyond its six venture capital trusts.
OLIM is a fund manager specialising in UK quoted equities, with close to £490m ($636m, €566m) of assets under management. It focuses on charities, for which it manages £240m; investment and other trusts (£170m) and private clients (£80m).
Founded in 1986, the business has been part of the Close Brothers Group since 2000. Co-founder Angela Lascelles will remain chief executive of OLIM, and the existing investment management team will continue to manage its range of funds and segregated portfolios.
“This is a transformational acquisition for Albion, doubling our assets under management and administration to almost £1bn,” said Patrick Reeve, managing partner of Albion.
“We are delighted with the benefits it will deliver to both sides; OLIM’s expertise in quoted equities adds a new dimension to our business, and there are a number of areas where we can help them grow, including aspects of sales and marketing and our knowledge of specialist investment areas such as health care,” he added.
Lascelles added that OLIM has known the Albion team for several years and that there is a complementary fit between the businesses, both in terms of investment focus and culture.
OLIM’s products include the Close OLIM UK Equity Income Fund, a unit trust for retail investors; the Charity Value and Income Fund, an investment fund aimed at smaller charities; and the Value and Income Trust plc, which invests both in UK equities and direct property.
“As we continue to focus on developing our integrated wealth management proposition, we decided to look for a new owner for OLIM who is better placed to take the business to the next stage of its evolution,” said Martin Andrew, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Management.
“We know Albion well, we welcomed their approach and wish the enlarged business every success in the future,” he continued.