Saturday 24 February 2018

Merrion asset management arm records 25pc increase in profits

Donal O'Donovan

Merrion Capital Investment Managers, the asset management arm of Merrion Capital, was sitting on profits of €3.3m at the end of 2010, according to accounts just filed with the Companies Office.

The figure is up almost 25pc from the previous year and funded a dividend of €750,000 to parent Merrion Capital, the accounts show.

The dividend was paid in January 2011, around the same time as wholesale changes were announced to the board of Merrion Capital itself.

The details are from abridged accounts filed with the Companies Office and signed off at the end of February this year.

The investment management unit, which is commonly known as Merrion Investment Managers, was formerly known as Oppenheim Investment Managers. It has in excess of €1bn worth of assets under management and was acquired by Merrion Capital in July 2008. Since then, the parent company has been in a state of near constant flux.

Two years ago, Merrion Capital's management team bought out former owner Landsbanki, paying around a third of the €90m the Icelanders had spent on their Irish acquisition.

The latest accounts filed for Merrion Investment Managers show that last year 100pc of the shares in previous parent company, Newriver Acquisitions Ltd, were sold to a new entity called Newtide Acquisitions. That deal closed in November 2011 and in January this year Paul Gould, of US investment bank Allen Co, was appointed chairman of Merrion and of Newtide Acquisitions.

Walter O'Hara, also an executive at Allen Co, was appointed to the board as well. Allen is a long-time investor in Merrion, and the latest appointments suggest last year's deal saw it increase its stake further.

At the same time, Kevin Gallacher was also appointed to the parent company board; he was previously joint managing director of Merrion Investment Managers. Last February, Mr Gallacher left to set up Midmar Capital in the Edinburgh.

The accounts just filed show that Merrion Investment Managers entered into a sub-investment management agreement with Midmar, paying the new company more than €400,000 over the course of last year.

Merrion Investment Managers also has a commitment to pay Midmar a further £35,000 (€39,400) for the three months to the end of March this year, according to the accounts.

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