Jupiter's managers share £63m share windfall on IPO anniversary

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The Independent Online

Edward Bonham Carter and other top managers at Jupiter Fund Management banked almost £63m yesterday as they sold shares on the first day that their post-flotation lock-in lapsed.

The sale of 26.19 million shares at 240p each amounted to 5.7 per cent of the company. Demand fell short of the maximum 31 million shares that were on offer.

Jupiter's star fund managers, Anthony Nutt and Philip Gibbs, sold the biggest stakes as both cut their holdings by more than a third.

Mr Bonham Carter, Jupiter's chief executive and the brother of actor Helena, sold 555,103 shares, leaving him with a stake of 14 million shares or 3.06 per cent of the asset manager.

Mr Nutt sold 7.5 million shares and still holds 2.84 per cent, while Mr Gibbs was left with 1.97 per cent of Jupiter after unloading 5.3 million of his shares.

In all, seven directors sold part of their stakes yesterday to cash in on the end of a year-long lock-up period that followed Jupiter's successful initial public offering.

The share sale, on the anniversary of the IPO, saw Jupiter's managers cashing in on the successful flotation, which they pressed ahead with despite choppy markets.

The IPO raised £220m for the company and £33.5m for its owners. Jupiter's shares still trade about 50 per cent above their 165p IPO price.

Most of yesterday's stock was sold to UK mutual funds with added interest from some US investors and hedge funds. JP Morgan Cazenove acted as sole bookrunner and as joint lead manager with Numis Securities.

Analysts said the sale of shares by senior staff did not spell a lack of confidence in the company's prospects. The batch of shares on sale was well under the 65.9 million that vested yesterday.

Jupiter also said net revenue would rise by about 15 per cent in the first half as management fees increased.

The group, which first floated in 1991 and sold up to Commerzbank in 1995, added £623m of net inflows in the first five months of this year, mainly in mutual funds.

Mr Bonham Carter said: "Against the backdrop of a more challenging flow environment, Jupiter has continued to make good progress.

"Assets under management have increased to £24.8bn and we expect our half-yearly results to show a healthy increase in profits."

Jupiter shares closed down 5.3p, or 2 per cent, at 250p yesterday after trading almost 7 per cent down earlier. Peel Hunt analysts said: "Jupiter has many attractive characteristics – strong, consistent inflows, high revenue and operating margins and little reliance on performance fees."

They added that the wider fund management sector was having a tough time with many asset managers down about 10 per cent in the past month.