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F&C Asset Shares Surge in London After First-Half Inflows

(Updates with shares at close in second paragraph.)

By Ambereen Choudhury

July 31 (Bloomberg) -- F&C Asset Management Plc, the investment firm controlled by hedge-fund manager Edward Bramson, rose the most in nine months in London trading after attracting funds from retail and professional investors.

F&C rose 5.8 percent, the most since Oct. 2012, to 100 pence at the close. The firm had net inflows of 432 million pounds ($657 million) in the first-half of 2013 from consumer and institutional investors, compared with outflows of 742 million pounds in the year-earlier period, the company said in a statement today.

“F&C’s interim results have exceeded our expectations,” Mark Williamson, an analyst at Peel Hunt LLP in London, wrote in a note to clients today. “This is my top pick amongst the asset managers.” Peel Hunt has a buy recommendation on the stock.

Bramson, F&C’s chairman and largest shareholder through his hedge fund Sherborne Investors LLC, has been seeking to boost the performance of the London-based fund manager by cutting costs, slicing debt and refocusing on traditional strengths such as investment trusts and managing fixed-income assets for insurers.

F&C posted first-half net income of 7.5 million pounds, compared with a loss of 6.1 million pounds a year earlier. Net revenue rose to 126.1 million pounds from 120.3 million pounds.

“There are encouraging signs for flows in the second half of the year,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Wilson said in the statement. The firm is “more competitive and more profitable and our strong investment performance will underpin delivery of continued revenue growth in our consumer & institutional business.”

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