Thorntons law launches new investment house spin-off with £350m of funds
A new Dundee investment house with £350 million of funds under management has been spun out of northeast law firm Thorntons.
Thorntons Investment Management Limited(TIML) has taken over responsibility for funds previously administered by the law firm, but has been launched as a new limited company entirely separate from Thorntons LLP.
But while they will be mutually exclusive, the two businesses do have some of the same shareholders and will both be based in Whitehall House at Yeaman Shore.
Headed by chief executive Stephen Webster (pictured), who joined Thorntons as a partner three years ago, and chief investment officer Matt Strachan, who spent more than 25 years with Alliance Trust before making the move last year, the new company will operate under two main brands —Thorntons Investment and Thorntons Wealth.
Twenty of Thorntons’ staff have also been transferred to the new enterprise.
Mr Webster said the new entity was the result of a long gestation and client approval for the proposed funds transfer had been acquired.
He said: “The planning process through the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) takes a heck of a lot of time, and we were in the planning stages for a good 18 months,” he said.
“We received final approval in July of last year and then we had to put the structures in place.”
Mr Webster added that the change was a practical one as Thorntons Law had two regulatory masters, while the separate businesses would only be answerable to a single watchdog each.
“It makes much more sense for our business and for the law firm to have one regulator,” he said.
“We have the FCA, and the law firm has the Law Society of Scotland, and the efficiencies around the appliance of regulation are much better.
“The second reason is, and I am not shy about saying it, how ambitious we are about our plans.
“If you are going to launch a series of funds then that comes with a capital equity requirement stipulated by the FCA. It is easier for me to generate that capital from a separate entity rather than putting that liability on the law firm.
“It makes it easier then to operate and develop and grow that business. “Clearly Thorntons Law LLP remain ambitious and continue to look at ways of expanding their business, but it is easier if the two are separated.”
Mr Webster said the transfer over of around £350m in funds under management provided it with a “great foundation from which to grow a multifaceted investment business”.
He also said it was good for Dundee to boost its profile in the fund management arena, and he hoped TIML would eventually become a recognised industry name in its own right.
“I think there will come a point in the not too distant future where we will outgrow the space we occupy at Whitehall House, and it may be that we move to larger premises,” he said.
“But our business will be in Dundee and always will be in Dundee as long as I am in charge of it,” Mr Webster added.