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The Danish family office and the London-based multi-boutique investment firm
21/08/2018 , Ian Orton

It is not unusual for family offices to either own outright or hold a significant stake in an asset management company. Nonetheless the acquisition by a Copenhagen-based family office of a stake in a London-based “multi-boutique” investment management firm might raise the eyebrows.

But this is what happened in January 2018 when North-East Family Office, which manages the assets of Winnie Liljeborg and Per Algot Enevoldsen, the founders of the Pandora jewelry brand, acquired a minority stake or partnership in Goodhart Partners LLP.

According to filings at Companies House, North-East Family Office became a member of Goodhart Partners LLP on 22 January, the same day that London-based Northern Lights Capital Partners ceased to be a member of the partnership.

This made North-East Family Office one of Goodhart Partners LLP four members or shareholders, along with Alan Bartlett, Goodhart’s founding chief executive, Peter Taylor, its chief operating officer and Edinburgh-based Nairn Capital.

According to subsequent filings made in July 2018 Mr Bartlett and Mr Taylor are no longer persons with significant control at Goodhart Partners. 

Whether or not Goodhart Partners will play any role in the management of the assets of North-East Family Office or is merely a portfolio investment is an open question.  

Founded in 2013 to care for the founding families and preserve their assets and ethical values for future generations North-East Family Office provides asset management and other services. The latter include corporate, medical and personal services as well as philanthropy.

In 2017 it launched North-East Family Office Asset Management to oversee portfolio management for the owning families. It had already established North-East Ventures, a private equity and venture capital vehicle that focuses on technology, consumer brands and retail investments.

North-East Family Office says that “virtues such as decency, credibility and accountability are cornerstones in our work and we set the same standards for our financial partners”. Perhaps not surprisingly it espouses a long-term perspective as far as investment management is concerned.

Goodhart Partners can trace its inception back to 2009 as the result of a management buy-out from the institutional asset management business of WestLB Mellon. 

It initially focused on multi-manager strategies where it enjoyed some success, not least with its absolute return bond fund. 

In 2012, however, it decided to change strategy closing down its multi-manager equity funds, with the team managing the multi-manager absolute return bond fund transferring to F&C Management to focus instead on single manager strategies.

These are either managed in-house or in partnership with other affiliated boutique investment managers. 

The latter include Asset Value Investors (AVI), a London-based value-orientated global equity firm that also manages the British Empire Securities and General Trust, a London-listed investment trust and the AVI International Value Fund; Goodhart Japan, a Japanese-based equities manager; and HMG Finance, a Paris-based emerging markets equities specialist.   

According to its most recent accounts deposited at Companies House Goodhart Partners recorded revenues and pre-tax profits before members remuneration and profit shares of £6.46 million and £1.31 million respectively for the year to 31 March 2016.

This was a significant improvement on the previous year when it posted revenues of £3.28 million and pre-tax profits before members remuneration and profit shares of £158,452. 

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