City Financial files notice to appoint administrators

In a subsequent email to the news agency, Hain stressed the firm was not in administration. 

‘We are working with an advisory firm to review the options available to the business,’ Hain said. 

He added the firm held ‘a number of positive discussions’ about its future and that its funds continued to operate as normal.

City Financial, which filed the notice on 22 February, has 10 days to find a lifeline, or face the prospect of going into administration. 

Its options include the transfer of the management of its funds to another firm, or to close the business and return cash to investors. 

City Financial’s assets under management fell from $3.3 billion (£2.5 billion) to $1.2 billion in 2018, according to Reuters.

At the end of the last year the company shut down its Decca hedge fund after a difficult year, which included a 21% loss in February. 

Its fund manager team includes David Crawford (pictured), who joined the firm from Octopus to run the City Financial Absolute Equity fund. 

That £183 million fund has lost a third of its value over the last 12 months, as Crawford’s positioning, which he has characterised as ‘short growth and long value’ was punished hard last summer. Crawford’s volatile fund is up 84% over 10 years, but has delivered flat returns over the last five after heavy falls following the Brexit vote and last year.

Accounts for the business for 2017 show losses before tax mounting to £16.7 million, surging from £1.4 million in 2016, as costs ballooned from £25.6 million to £40.5 million.

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City Financial said these costs were related to the acquisition of three funds, in London, New York and Hong Kong, investment in infrastructure and one-off human resources costs.

The accounts also detail two loans amounting to a combined £3.5 million, repayable on demand and carrying an interest rate of 12%.    

City Financial was acquired by former Invesco Perpetual chief Rob Hain in 2006 alongside Andrew Williams, who was head of distribution at Invesco. 

The pair had joined forces to acquire asset managers and launch innovative strategies for institutional and private investors. City Financial was their first acquisition. 

Its buys in the years since include Eden Financial in 2012, OPM Fund Management in 2013 and the funds business of family office Iveagh the following year.  

City Financial declined to comment.  



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