Former colleagues at MLC/Lend Lease, Nick Basile, Krystyna Weston and Sarah Brennan, have been reunited following Ascalon Capital Managers possession of a controlling stake in The Private Collection.

The deal means Ascalon’s boutique funds managers will now be promoted in the retail space. Ascalon, which is part owned by St George Bank and Kaplan Equity, specialises in developing boutique funds managers identified as the potential leaders in the next generation of funds management organisations. Among other things, Ascalon, headed by Basile, takes an equity stake in boutique managers and appoints a director to each manager’s board. It is also tasked with the delivery and development of its manager’s product and investment management capabilities.

The Private Collection is a distribution company that facilitates the promotion of boutique, international and alternative funds management products to the financial planning market, The new majority owner adds more than nine funds to The Private Collection’s stable of boutique funds managers it markets to the retail financial planning sector, which also includes ABN Amro and Hyperion.

Weston, the managing director of The Private Collection, said until now the distribution of Ascalon funds had been through institutional business development manager, Richard Hardman. “Together now we will actively market the Ascalon funds, and other clients, through the whole life cycle of institutional and retail,” she said.

Some of Ascalon’s funds, including Alleron Investment Management, have already struck distribution deals with the St.George-owned Advance, but Weston said the retail distribution strategy for each manager would be unique. One of the first projects under the new deal will be to distribute H3 Global Advisors, which has received a positive rating from van Eyk. “H3 is not on any platforms but it has received a good rating, so we’ll look at the dealer groups that use van Eyk research, and then at what platforms they use and begin the distribution strategy that way,” she said.

The Private Collection was launched in February 2004, by Weston, Brennan and financial planning industry consultant, Tom Collins. All three will remain with the business and retain significant equity.

Weston would not reveal the price of the deal, but she said The Private Collection was a profitable company and its value had been derived using traditional business valuation models.

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